"Peter Ramus (Pierre de la Ramée) was primarily a teacher of mathematics who was a central figure in the early stages of the Scientific Revolution.
"This book is part of Ramus’ campaign to improve the teaching of science and mathematics. He was of the opinion that science in general, and in particular mathematics, had lost its focus on practical needs. The teaching of the arithmetic of Boethius had concentrated attention on the properties of numbers to such an extent that practical arithmetic and geometric skills had been neglected. This text on geometry was designed to correct that situation. It deals first with arithmetic, and then the last three quarters are devoted to geometry, with a heavy emphasis on the calculation of areas, volumes and surveying. Many geometric diagrams are used to illustrate the text, and the section on surveying gives a number of practical applications.
His teaching, however, was anti-establishment in nature, for he attacked Aristotle, particularly his logic, and defended a thesis in which the works of Aristotle (and particularly his contemporary followers) were brought into question. After he published these views in Aristotelicae animadversiones, he was forbidden by Francis I to teach and publish philosophy. Because of this ban, Ramus turned to the study and teaching of mathematics. He was reinstated in 1547 and thereafter managed to rise swiftly in French academic circles, due in part to the vacancies caused by the plague. He continued to have problems with the authorities because of his views and in 1562 left the Catholic Church and converted to Calvinism. He was killed as part of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, despite having explicit royal protection. There is some reason to believe his death was at the hands of assassins hired by his academic rivals" (Tomash & Williams).
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