Learn how and when to remove this template message "Oneiron" "Dream" , reverse of the medallion of Cardano by Leone Leoni , Cardano made several contributions to hydrodynamics and held that perpetual motion is impossible, except in celestial bodies. He published two encyclopedias of natural science which contain a wide variety of inventions, facts, and occult superstitions. He also introduced the Cardan grille , a cryptographic writing tool, in Significantly, in the history of education of the deaf , he said that deaf people were capable of using their minds, argued for the importance of teaching them, and was one of the first to state that deaf people could learn to read and write without learning how to speak first.
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Nevertheless, it provides the reader interested in the history of science with a lively, well-written account of the stormy dispute-ridden career of a versatile sixteenth-century scholar whose works and fame were known throughout Europe.
But the original contributions to knowledge are found principally in Chapters 3 and 5. In the first Professor Ore reviews the frequently-told story of the controversy with Tartaglia. The accounts of both participants are preserved in their own works. For the historian of science, therefore, the problem is one of reconciling the opposing stories and arriving at an interpretation that will accord with the admitted facts and be just to both participants.
Tartaglia, by the virulence of his accusations, illustrated the soundness of the military maxim that attack is the best defense by causing most later historians to recount the incident from his point of view, to the detriment of Cardano. Cardano wished to include it, with proper acknowledgement, in his forthcoming treatise on algebra. Tartaglia refused to allow its publication under any circumstances, maintaining that he intended to publish it himself, but told the secret to Cardano, after obliging the latter to swear a solemn oath that he would never publish it.
Strictly speaking, Cardano violated his oath when he included the method of solving cubic equations in his Ars Magna in Answering repeated accusations of perfidy, Cardano was steadfast in his contention that it was the duty of a scientist to make public his discoveries rather than to conceal them indefinitely—that the welfare of society should take precedence over self-glorification. Professor Ore maintains that we shou1d. For the material presented in the chapter we have just discussed, the author records indebtedness to the researches of Italian historians of mathematics during the last four decades, especially those of Ettore Bortolotti.
He admits that certain sections of the Liber de Ludo Aleae are badly written and far from clear, but finds that to one who fully understands the subject the meaning emerges after patient and detailed analysis.
Part of the difficulty derives from the fact, confessed by Cardano himself, that he wrote certain parts by merely jotting down brief notes from time to time as ideas occurred to him.
Furthermore when he found that a previous idea proved to be erroneous he proceeded to add new thoughts without pausing to go back and correct his earlier statements. For example, he might write down three different solutions for the same problem, each time affirming it to be the correct procedure, but not until the third and last attempt arrive at the proper method.
He concludes that in the Liber de Ludo Aleae the chief principles underlying the mathematical calculation of probability were deduced and formulated more than a century before the correspondence between Pascal and Fermat in , which is customarily considered as the discovery of the probability theory. By detailed studies such as this the most permanent advances are made in establishing solid foundations for a sound history of science. Johnson, Stanford University in Isis Share this:.
Cardano, the Gambling Scholar
Cardano: The Gambling Scholar