Bruno's Mathematical Dilemma in His Poem De Minimo

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Abstract:

It was almost inevitable that Bruno should add prose commentaries to his poem De minimo (1591), since it is the most specifically mathematical of his three philosophical poems. This essay analyses the five books of the poem, and considers recent critical assessments of it. ‘Minimum’ in Bruno can refer to the indivisible material element (or atom), or the minimal figure in a given genus (the ‘minimum’ proper), and this would seem to place him against the mathematical and physical conceptions of his contemporaries.

Keywords: Bruno, Giordano (De triplici minimo); Italy; Mathematics; Poetry; Science

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1477-4658.00103

Publication date: September 1, 1991

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