Lost in the Labyrinth

Giordano Bruno and the Quest for Infinity

Bruno’s speculations about infinity covered both extremes of this concept: the infinitely small (the atom) and the infinitely large (the universe). However, in using the tools of mathematics to understand infinity, Bruno encountered a number of obstacles, which doomed his efforts to failure. This project analyzes the reasons of such failure and how they relate to Bruno’s biography. I claim that Bruno’s mathematics is best understood in the context of his project of religious reform. Thus, it was to challenge the prevailing order that Bruno set off to conquer infinity, although he fell short of his mathematical ambitions and ended up losing himself in the labyrinth of the continuum.

Peer Reviewed Articles

“Introduction: The Idiosyncratic Nature of Renaissance Mathematics,” Perspectives on Science 30, no. 3 (2022): 353-57

“Changing Conceptions of Mathematics and Infinity in Giordano Bruno’s Vernacular and Latin works,” Science in Context 33, no. 3 (2020): 251-71

“New Theories for New Instruments: Fabrizio Mordente’s Proportional Compass and The Genesis of Giordano Bruno’s Atomist Geometry,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 76C (2019): 60-8

“Giordano Bruno and Bonaventura Cavalieri’s Theories of Indivisibles: A Case of Shared Knowledge,” Intellectual History Review 28, no. 04 (2018): 461-76

Guest Editor

Perspectives on Science 30, no. 3 (May-June 2022), Special Issue on “The Untold Stories of Renaissance Mathematics”