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Mathematicians and Enlightenment Society: An entry from Gale's Science and Its Times [HTML] [Digital]

Amy Ackerberg-Hastings

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In the eighteenth century, mathematicians formed an integral part of society and culture. They exploited available avenues toward gaining patronage and prestige. Further, mathematicians such as Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783) influenced the intellectual developments of the Enlightenment, which radiated out from France. The writers and thinkers of that time, in turn, relied upon mathematical language and logic in a unique manner. By 1700, the Scientific Revolution had culminated mathematically with Isaac Newton's (1642-1727) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's (1646-1716) invention of the calculus along with Newton's universal theory of gravitation and his study of optics....

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