From Past to Future: Graßmann's Work in Context

Graßmann Bicentennial Conference, September 2009

  • Hans-Joachim Petsche
  • Albert C. Lewis
  • Jörg Liesen
  • Steve Russ

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. On the lives of the Grassmann brothers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-2
    2. Hans-Joachim Petsche, Albert C. Lewis, Jörg Liesen, Steve Russ
      Pages 9-16
  3. Historical contexts of Hermann Grassmann’s creativity

  4. Philosophical and methodological aspects of the work of the Grassmann brothers

  5. Diversity of the influence of the Grassmann brothers

  6. Present and future of Hermann Grassmann’s ideas in mathematics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 241-241
    2. David Hestenes
      Pages 243-260
    3. Henry Crapo
      Pages 261-274
    4. John Browne
      Pages 287-302
    5. A. Swimmer
      Pages 325-331
  7. Present and future of Hermann Grassmann’s ideas in philology

  8. Hermann Grassmann’s impact on music, computing and education

  9. Back Matter
    Pages 453-580

About these proceedings


On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hermann Graßmann (1809-1877), an interdisciplinary conference was held in Potsdam, Germany, and in Graßmann's hometown Szczecin, Poland. The idea of the conference was to present a multi-faceted picture of Graßmann, and to uncover the complexity of the factors that were responsible for his creativity. The conference demonstrated not only the very influential reception of his work at the turn of the 20th century, but also the unexpected modernity of his ideas, and their continuing development in the 21st century. 

This book contains 37 papers presented at the conference. They investigate the significance of Graßmann's work for philosophical as well as for scientific and methodological questions, for comparative philology in general and for Indology in particular, for psychology, physiology, religious studies, musicology, didactics, and, last but not least, mathematics. In addition, the book contains numerous illustrations and English translations of original sources, which are published here for the first time. These include life histories of Graßmann (written by his son Justus) and of his brother Robert (written by Robert himself), as well as the paper "On the concept and extent of pure theory of number'' by Justus Graßmann (the father).

In November 2010 the capital of the federal state of Brandenburg (Germany) chose the Graßmann Conference as the first-time winner of the Potsdam Conference-Award in the category "Innovative and/or exceptional events".

Editors and affiliations

  • Hans-Joachim Petsche
    • 1
  • Albert C. Lewis
    • 2
  • Jörg Liesen
    • 3
  • Steve Russ
    • 4
  1. 1., Institut für PhilosophieUniversität PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Educational Advancement FoundationAustinUSA
  3. 3.Institut für MathematikTU BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Dept. Computer ScienceUniversity of WarwickCoventryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information