Journal of Indian Philosophy 35 (5-6):543-575 (2007)

Medieval Arabic algebra is a good example of an artificial language.Yet despite its abstract, formal structure, its utility was restricted to problem solving. Geometry was the branch of mathematics used for expressing theories. While algebra was an art concerned with finding specific unknown numbers, geometry dealtwith generalmagnitudes.Algebra did possess the generosity needed to raise it to a more theoretical level—in the ninth century Abū Kāmil reinterpreted the algebraic unknown “thing” to prove a general result. But mathematicians had no motive to rework their theories in algebraic form. Because it offered no advantage over geometry, algebra remained a practical art in both the Islamic world and in Europe until the scientific uphevals of the 17th–18th centuries
Keywords Arabic algebra  artificial language  generosity  Abū Kāmil
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Reprint years 2008
DOI 10.1007/s10781-007-9026-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Rise of Colleges. Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West.Norman Daniel & George Makdisi - 1984 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 104 (3):586.
Artificial Languages Across Sciences and Civilizations.Frits Staal - 2006 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 34 (1-2):89-141.

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Cognitive Stories and the Image of Mathematics.Wagner Roy - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):305-323.

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