Of the use of the “English sector” in trigonometry: what amount of mathematical training was necessary in the 18th century?
Document typeConference report
PublisherIREM de Montpellier
Rights accessOpen Access
In 1723 Edmund Stone published The construction and principal uses of mathematical instruments, which was essentially a translation from the French of Bion’s Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des instrumens de mathématique (1709). As the title of the book indicated, Stone annexed a number of instruments that had been omitted by Bion, in particular, those invented or improved by the English. Hence, after the translation of Book II, on the construction and uses of the “French sector”, Stone added a chapter on the “English sector”. In the 17th century there had been a number of debates concerning the amount of mathematical training required for the study of mathematical instruments. In the context of the study of mathematical instruments in the 18th century, it is worth exploring the link theory-practice in the books on instruments. The aim of this contribution is to explore the mathematical knowledge involved in the use and applications of the “English sector” in trigonometry in a number of 18th-century books on mathematical instruments.
CitationBlanco, M. Of the use of the “English sector” in trigonometry: what amount of mathematical training was necessary in the 18th century?. A: History and Pedagogy of Mathematics. "Proceedings of the 2016 ICME satellite meeting of the International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics". Montpellier: IREM de Montpellier, 2016, p. 316-325.