Abel and his mathematics in contexts

NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 10 (1-3):137-155 (2002)
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200 years ago, on August 5, 1802, Niels Henrik Abel was born on Finnøy near Stavanger on the Norwegian west coast. During a short life span, Abel contributed to a deep transition in mathematics in which concepts replaced formulae as the basic objects of mathematics. The transformation of mathematics in the 1820s and its manifestation in Abel’s works are the themes of the author’s PhD thesis. After sketching the formative instances in Abel’s well-known biography, this article illustrates two aspects of the transformation which concern the introduction of concept based mathematics and the related shift in standards of mathematical rigor. Furthermore, the article outlines some of the many bicentennial celebrations in Norway and gives a short, thematic introduction to the literature on Abel and his work.



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Henrik Kragh Sørensen
University of Copenhagen

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Proofs and refutations (IV).I. Lakatos - 1963 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 14 (56):296-342.
Men of Mathematics.Alonzo Church - 1937 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 2 (2):95-95.
Cauchy elliptic and Abelian integrals.Jeremy Gray - 1992 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 45 (1):69-82.

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