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Algebraic Art – Mathematical Formalism and Victorian Culture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Algebraic Art: Mathematical Formalism and Victorian Culture

Andrea Henderson


Algebraic Art explores the invention of a peculiarly Victorian account of the nature and value of aesthetic form, and it traces that account to a surprising source: mathematics. The nineteenth century was a moment of extraordinary mathematical innovation, witnessing the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the revaluation of symbolic algebra, and the importation of mathematical language into philosophy. All these innovations sprang from a reconception of mathematics as a formal rather than a referential practice—as a means for describing relationships rather than quantities. For Victorian ma ... More

Keywords: Formalism, symbolism, algebra, non-Euclidean geometry, Victorian photography, symbolic logic, Victorian literature, field theory, Marxism, Victorian liberalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198809982
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809982.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrea Henderson, author
Professor of English, University of California, Irvine

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