Geometrical problem solving — the state of the art c. 1635

  • Henk J. M. Bos
Part of the Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (SHMP)


The present chapter concludes my discussion of the early modern tradition of geometrical problem solving before Descartes. Problem solving constituted the primary context of Descartes’ geometrical studies to which Part II is devoted. His contributions, however, changed the theory and practice of geometrical problem solving in so fundamental a manner that they eclipsed many of the techniques, concepts, and concerns of the earlier tradition. It is therefore appropriate to conclude Part I by a sketch of the state of the art of geometrical problem solving around 1635, that is, just before Descartes published his innovations (and also before Fermat’s new techniques began to circulate among cognoscenti).


Geometrical Construction Conic Section Regular Polygon Geometrical Problem Angular Section 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henk J. M. Bos
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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