What More There Is in Early-Modern Algebra than its Literal Formalism

Document Type


Publication Date



"There are two views about early-modern algebra very often endorsed (either explicitly or implicitly). The former is that in early-modern age, algebra and geometry were different branches of mathematics and provided alternative solutions for many problems. The latter is that early-modern algebra essentially resulted from the adoption of a new literal formalism. My present purpose is to question the latter. In doing that, I shall also implicitly undermine the former."


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of a chapter accepted for publication in Albrecht Heeffer and Maarten van Dyck (Eds.), Philosophical Aspects of Symbolic Reasoning in Early Modern Mathematics. This version may not exactly replicate the final published version.