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Geometry: The Third Book of Foundations

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In this third installment of his classic 'Foundations' trilogy, Michel Serres takes on the history of geometry and mathematics. Even more broadly, Geometry is the beginnings of things and also how these beginnings have shaped how we continue to think philosophically and critically. Serres rejects a traditional history of mathematics which unfolds in a linear manner, and argues for the need to delve into the past of maths and identify a series of ruptures which can help shed light on how this discipline has developed and how, in turn, the way we think has been shaped and formed.

This meticulous and lyrical translation marks the first ever English translation of this key text in the history of ideas.

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Serres Michel
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Michel Serres is a Professor in the History of Science at Stanford University, USA and a member of the Academie Francaise. A renowned and popular philosopher, he is a prize-winning author of essays and books, such as The Five Senses (Grasset/Continuum), Genesis (Grasset/U. of Michigan Press), and Biogee (Le Pommier/Univocal Press).

The origins of geometry

The Universal: One of its First Constructions
The Differences: Chaos in the History of Science
Synthesis: The Science of History

Part One: Customs and Laws

1. First in History: Anaximander
Spaces without Exclusion: Juridical Origins
2. First in the rite: The royal victim
Spaces of Exclusion: Political Origins
3. First in dialectic: The interlocutor
Spaces of Exclusion: Discursive Origins
4.The Point at Noon
Part Two: Nature
5.First in History: Thales
From the pyramid to the tetrahedron: The optical origin
From Diogenes to Thales: The ethical origin
From the sun to the earth: The astronomical origin
6. First in philosophy: The ignorant slave boy
From Pythagoras to Zeno: The algorithmic origin
7. First in logic: The element
The automatic origin and Return to sociopolitical origins
Part three: Conclusion
8. The Measurement of the Earth: Herodotus


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