Angela Axworthy

Visiting Scholar (Jan 2017-Dec 2019)


Angela Axworthy has a first-class PhD in Philosophy (2011) from the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (C.E.S.R.), Université François-Rabelais. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Technischer Universität in the framework of the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge, and a Visiting Scholar at the MPIWG. Her general domain of research is Renaissance epistemology of mathematics; her research interests range from the philosophy of mathematics in the sixteenth-century Euclidean tradition to late medieval cosmology and Renaissance practical mathematics. Her project for the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge deals with the status of practical geometry in the sixteenth century. The aim of this project is to study the treatises published on this discipline during the sixteenth-century in order to explore the evolution, during this period, of the notion of geometrical praxis, as well as the epistemological status of practical geometry and its relations to theoretical and applied geometrical knowledge.


The Status of Practical Geometry and Its Relations to Theoretical and Applied Geometrical Knowledge in Sixteenth-century Treatises of Practical Geometry


The Transmission of Cosmological Conceptions in the Paduan Sacrobosco Tradition from the Fifteenth to the Sixteenth Century


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Selected Publications

Axworthy, A. (2016). Le mathématicien renaissant et son savoir: le statut des mathématiques selon Oronce Fine. Paris: Classiques Garnier.

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Axworthy, A. (2013). The ontological status of geometrical objects in the commentary on the Elements of Euclid of Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517-1582). FMSH-WP, 41, 1-19. Retrieved from

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Axworthy, A. (2009). The epistemological foundations of the propaedeutic status of mathematics according to the epistolary and prefatory writings of Oronce Fine. In The worlds of Oronce Fine: mathematics, instruments, and print in Renaissance France (pp. 31-51). Donington: Shaun Tyas.

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517-1582) and Christoph Clavius (1538-1612) on the superposition of geometrical figures : a sixteenth-century debate on the ontological and epistemological status of geometrical objects and procedures”

HU, Berlin

The Euclidean Definition of the Sphere in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance: from the commentaries on Sacrobosco’s Sphere to the commentaries on Euclid’s Elements

MPIWG, Berlin

La forme des traités de mathématiques pratiques d’Oronce Fine

Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
The epistemological and ontological background of the debate on superposition between Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517-1582) and Christophorus Clavius (1538-1612)

Ghent, Belgium
“Sixteenth-century Interpretations of the Nature and Use of Motion in Geometry”, The Mechanization of Geometry. From Antiquity to the Modern Age

MPIWG, Berlin

The notion of flow of the point as a principle of generation of the line in the Renaissance Euclidean tradition

HEST, Limoges

Renaissance interpretations of the geometrical notion of rhusis

MPIWG, Berlin

The Purpose, Modalities and Limits of the Admission of Movement in the Definition and Study of Geometrical Objects in the Sixteenth-century Euclidean Tradition: Oronce Fine (1494-1555), Jacques Peletier du Mans (1517-1582) and Christoph Clavius (1538-1611)

MPIWG, Berlin

Le statut des objets géométriques dans le commentaire des Éléments d’Euclide de Jacques Peletier du Mans (1557)