This collection of 12 essays published originally in 1991 is devoted to the general question of science and its relation to, and interaction with, philosophy in the Greek world during the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Thus, the papers address issues concerning the origins and explanatory structure of science, as well as problems peculiar to the mathematical sciences (arithmetic, geometry, harmonics, astronomy) and to natural history and medicine. The contributors include: Andrew D. Barker, J. L. Berggren, Alan C. Bowen, David H. Fowler, Charles H. Kahn, Wilbur R. Knorr, James G.
The Meaning of «ἑνὶ ὀνόματι» in the Sectio canonis
A new interpretation is proposed of the crucial expression «ἑνὶ ὀνόματι» (‘in one name’) as applied to ratios of the musical concords in the preface of the Sectio canonis ascribed to Euclid. A link is also established with the name of one of the irrational lines introduced by Euclid in Elements 10. Past interpretations of the expression are discussed and shown to be inadequate.
Wilber R. Knorr on Thābit ibn Qurra: A Case-Study in the Historiography of Premodern Science
There was a widespread belief among historians of science of my generation that high competence with regard to content and languages alone can guarantee better, more reliable results than can good philology combined with high competence in history or the other human sciences. In my case-study of Wilbur R. Knorr’s analysis of several medieval Arabic and Latin texts on the balance or steelyard, I highlight a variety of factors that compromised time and again his understanding and interpretation of his chosen texts.