The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics

A Study in Cognitive History

The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics

This book provides a way to understand a momentous development in human intellectual history: the phenomenon of deductive argument in classical Greek mathematics. The argument rests on a close description of the practices of Greek mathematics, principally the use of lettered diagrams and the regulated, formulaic use of language.


"Reviel Netz has written a stimulating book about diagrams and mathematics, telling us facts that we all know, but hardly ever thought of." MAA Online

"...a novel work...Greek intellectual culture will be of interest to many classicists...Netz has made an important contribution to intellectual history and has asked a diverse set of questions whose answers, while difficult, will broaden our understanding of the development of deductive practices." Daryn Lehoux, University of Toronto

"Netz's book has made this reviewer look at Greek mathematics with new eyes, and it will certainly provoke further thought and discussion. Netz is to be thanked for a stimulating contribution to an important topic." Isis

"It's a first-contribution to intellectual history... also an enjoyable book....The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics will be of interest, not just to historians of mathematics, but to mathematicians and philosophers seeking to understand the aims and achievements of mathematics today." Philosophia Mathematica


Runciman Award 2000 - Winner