I will discuss the
epistemology of mathematics of J.H.
Lambert in the context of his attempt to prove the
Parallel Postulate (Theorie der Parallellinien,
1766). I will show how Lambert’s epistemological ideas
directed his mathematical studies on the foundations of
geometry, and represented an important step forward
compared with the previous and more classical attempts to
prove the Parallel Postulate (Clavius, Wallis, Leibniz,
Saccheri, et al.). Lambert’s conception of the relations
between mathematical definitions and axioms, in fact,
paved the way for the non-Euclidean revolution in the
1830s. I will also deal with the reception of Lambert's
essay in late-18th-century and 19th-century Germany.
den 16. juni 2015, kl. 17