University of Udine

DIpartimento di Studi UManistici
e del patrimonio culturale

DIUM - Dipartimento di eccellenza 2023-2027 MUR MENU

Paolo Bussotti


Paolo Bussotti

Storia della Scienza e delle Tecniche (M-STO/05)

  • Associate professor
  • Tel.: 334 7551226
  • Email:
  • Office: Palazzo Falconieri, piano terra, stanza 06
  • Teachings: History of Science; History of Mathematics

Paolo Bussotti

Storia della Scienza e delle Tecniche (M-STO/05)

  • Associate professor
  • Tel.: 334 7551226
  • Email:
  • Office: Palazzo Falconieri, piano terra, stanza 06
  • Teachings: History of Science; History of Mathematics


I graduated with first-class honours in History of Science and Technology from the Faculty of Humanities (degree course in History) of University of Pisa on 25th November, 1991 .
In July 1996 I received a Ph.D. in Historical Sciences at the University of San Marino, with a thesis on the foundations of mathematics, wherein I analysed four authors in particular, namely Bolzano, Cantor, Frege and Husserl.

Professional experience

I was granted some fellowships at the Municipality of Livorno – the longest one allowed me to present a new translation (from Latin to Italian) with a commentary on the Sidereus Nuncius by Galilei, which I published in 2001. Subsequently, in 2003, I was awarded a fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation which was renewed in 2004. From May 2003 to April 2005 I worked at the Institute for the History of Science at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich. There, I studied Fermat's infinite descent method and its applications to the number theory.
In summer 2005 I was scientific collaborator within the Kepler Commission (dedicated to the publication of Kepler's writings) at the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Munich and later, I was Director of the Centro Studi Enriques in Livorno, and scientific collaborator of the Commission for the Publication of the National Edition of Federigo Enriques' Works.
Between 2013 and 2014 my Von Humboldt Fellowship was again renewed for three months, and I worked at the Berlin-Branderburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, in Berlin, with a project entitled "Leibniz's planetary theory".
Between 2014–2015 I taught History at the "Federigo Enriques" High School in Livorno.
I have workd at the University of Udine since 2015, dealing with History of Science (DIUM) and History and Teaching of Mathematics (DMIF). I was also granted two research grants, one by the DIUM, the other by the DMIF.
I obtained a further renewal of my Von Humboldt fellowship from May to July 2019, and I worked at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, at the LMU, for the project "Michel Chasles' Foundational Programme".

Current position

I am a researcher in History of Science and Technology at the DIUM.


In 2019–2020:

  • First semester: History of Science (DIUM)
  • Second semester: History of Mathematics (DMIF)


  • History of Science: History of Physics and Astronomy in the 17th century, with particular focus on Kepler, Galilei, Descartes, Leibniz and Newton.
  • History of Mathematics: a) History of the Number Theory from Fermat to Gauss; b) History of Projective Geometry in the 19th century.
  • Philosophy of Mathematics: Foundations of Mathematics at the end of the 19th century and connections between the issues addressed at that time and the foundational ideas of the authors belonging to the previous periods.
  • Teaching of Mathematics: possible use of the History of Mathematics within an educational context.


The circulation of Kepler's cosmological ideas in Italy during Kepler’s lifetime

in: E. Mehl (cur.), Kepler. La Physique celeste. Autour de l’Astronomia Nova, Paris 2011, 209–229

La natura del continuo e del mutamento nei paradossi di Zenone

ARHIS 71 (2021) 132-175

The influence of Spinoza’s concept of infinity on Cantor’s set theory

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40/1 (2009) 25–35 (con C. Tapp)

Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica “Jesuit” Edition: The Tenor of a Huge Work

Rendiconti Lincei: Matematica e Applicazioni 25/4 (2014) 413–444 (con R. Pisano)

La concezione dell’infinito in Federigo Enriques

Matematica, Cultura e Società, Rivista dell’Unione Matematica Italiana, Serie 1, 1/1 (2016) 65–86

The Problem of Circular Motion in René Descartes

Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana, 7 serie, 14/1 (2018) 76–114 (con B. Lotti)

From Fermat to Gauss: indefinite descent and methods of reduction in number theory

Augsburg 2006

“Un mediocre lettore”; le letture e le idee di Federigo Enriques

Lugano 2006

Leibniz. Dal calcolo infinitesimale al linguaggio dei computer

Milano 2017

Quantità, gradazione e intensità nelle opere fisiche di Descartes

in: T. Kisser, T. Leinkauf (curr.), Intensität und Realität, Berlin 2016, 103–127

Historical and Philosophical Details on Leibniz’s Planetary Theory as Physical-Structural Model

in: R. Pisano, M. Fichant, P. Bussotti, A.R.E. Oliveira (curr.), The Dialogue between Sciences, Philosophy and Engineering. New Historical and Epistemological Insights. Homage to Gottfried W. Leibniz 1646–1716, London 2017, 49–92 (con R. Pisano)

On the Conceptualization of Force in Johannes Kepler’s Corpus: An Interplay Between Physics/Mathematics and Metaphysics

in R. Pisano, J. Agassi, D. Drodzova (curr.), Hypotheses and Perspectives in the History and Philosophy of Science. Homagé to Alexandre Koyré 1892–1964, Cham 2018, 295–345 (con R. Pisano)

The Complex Itinerary of Leibniz’s Planetary Theory: Physical Convictions, Metaphysical Principles and Keplerian Inspiration

Basel 2015