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A century of mathematics in America. by Peter Duren

By Peter Duren

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285–286. 6. Richard F. Littledale and Ethelerd L. Taunton, “Jesuits,” Encyclopaedia Britannica (Cambridge and New York, 1911), volume XV, pp. 341–342. 7. Helvétius, A Treatise on Man (London 1777; reprint: New York, 1969), volume I, pp. 76–77. 8. Gerard Manley Hopkins, Selected Letters, ed. C. Phillips (Oxford, 1990), pp. 163–165. 9. Steven J. Harris, “Introduction,” Early Science and Medicine 1 (1996), p. 284. 10. Isabelle Pantin, “Is Clavius Worth Reappraising? The Impact of a Jesuit Mathematical Teacher on the Eve of the Astronomical Revolution,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 27 (1996): 593–598.

54 The issue of Jesuit censorship, and the manner in which many would-be authors attempted to cope with it, has attracted considerable attention lately. Unfortunately, not enough attention has been given to an analogous issue: the general perception during the early modern period of the ambiguity with which controversial topics were often shrouded in Jesuit publications. Such ambiguity often exposed the Order to charges of dissimulation from critics who treated with indifference those who did not venture into print and with outright hostility those who published in a manner acceptable to the authorities.

Bertet was also a convinced Copernican, and in 1665 he told Constantyn Huygens that the orbit of the then visible comet confirmed him in this belief. 90 Both Confalonieri and Bertet were fully cognizant of the disciplinary measures taken by the Jesuit authorities to ensure conformity. It may seem surprising that, notwithstanding such measures (which must have been applied to hundreds of Jesuit philosophers and mathematicians in the course of the early modern period), only a few Jesuits left or were expelled from the Society as a consequence of such measures.

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