Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Varieties of Wonder

Abstract : Akin to the mathematical recreations, John Wilkins' Mathematicall Magick (1648) elaborates the pleasant, useful and wondrous part of practical mathematics, dealing in particular with its material culture of machines and instruments. We contextualize the Mathematicall Magick by studying its institutional setting and its place within changing conceptions of art, nature, religion and mathematics. We devote special attention to the way Wilkins inscribes mechanical innovations within a discourse of wonder. Instead of treating 'wonder' as a monolithic category, we present a typology, showing that wonders were not only recreative, but were meant to inspire Wilkins' readers to new mathematical inventions.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [87 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Koen Vermeir <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 3:19:23 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 11:58:47 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Friday, October 10, 2014 - 10:36:49 AM


Files produced by the author(s)



Maarten van Dyck,, Koen Vermeir. Varieties of Wonder. Historia Mathematica, Elsevier, 2014, 41 (4), pp.1-28. ⟨10.1016/⟩. ⟨halshs-01021908⟩



Record views


Files downloads