University of Udine

DIpartimento di Studi UManistici
e del patrimonio culturale

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Paolo Bussotti


Paolo Bussotti

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

Paolo Bussotti

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



I graduated on 25th November 1991 in History of Science and Technology at the Faculty of Humanities (degree course in History), University of Pisa, with first-class honours.
In July 1996 I got a Ph.D. in Historical Sciences at the University of San Marino, with a dissertation on the foundations of mathematics – I analysed in particular four authors, 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 commentary of the Sidereus Nuncius by Galilei, which I published in 2001 –, then in 2003 I was awarded a fellowhip by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 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. Then 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".
In 2014–2015 I taught History at the "Federigo Enriques" high school in Livorno.
Since 2015 I work at the University of Udine, dealing with History of Science (DIUM) and History and Teaching of Mathematics (DMIF). I was also granted two research grants, one by DIUM, the other by DMIF.
From May to July 2019 I obtained a further renewal of my Von Humboldt fellowship, and I worked at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, at the LMU, for the project "Michel Chasles' foundational programme".

Current position

I am researcher in History of Science and Technology at 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 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

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

Basel 2015

Leibniz. Dal calcolo infinitesimale al linguaggio dei computer

Milano 2017

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

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)