Document Type


Publication Date



In this paper we would like to attempt to shed some light on the way in which diagrams enter into the practice of ancient Greek geometrical analysis. To this end, we will first distinguish two main forms of this practice, i.e., trans-configurational and intra-configurational. We will then argue that, while in the former diagrams enter in the proof essentially in the same way (mutatis mutandis) they enter in canonical synthetic demonstrations, in the latter, they take part in the analytic argument in a specific way, which has no correlation in other aspects of classical geometry. In intra-configurational analysis, diagrams represent in fact the result of a purely material gesture, which is not codified by any construction canon, but permitted only by the (theoretical) practice of the method of analysis and synthesis.


This article was originally published in Philosophia Scientiæ, volume 25, issue 3, in 2021.

Peer Reviewed


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.