Hans-Joachim Waschkies

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Hans-Joachim Waschkies (born June 16, 1939 - † May 13, 2014 in Altenholz ) was a German science historian and philosopher .


Waschkies came to the Danish North Schleswig as a refugee from the East at the end of the Second World War , studied philosophy, mathematics and physics in Kiel and Bonn after completing a humanistic grammar school and received his doctorate in 1973 in Kiel under Hermann Schmitz . His dissertation dealt with the influence of Eudoxus of Knidos on the theory of continuity of Aristotle and was published as a book ( From Eudoxos to Aristotle ). The work also provided new insights into the life story of Eudoxus and Waschkies developed the hypothesis that the discovery of irrational numbers (incommensurable quantities) among the Greeks could have happened simply by handling the counting stones (Psephoi). His doctorate was supported by a doctoral scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation and the dissertation received the grade Opus eximium . In 1973 he became a research assistant in Kiel and completed his habilitation with a thesis on the genesis of general natural history and the theory of the sky by Immanuel Kant . He became a university lecturer and adjunct professor for the history of science in Kiel.

In his book about the beginnings of arithmetic among the Greeks, he turned against the hypothesis of Árpád Szabó about the influence of the Eleates on the origin and the logical (axiomatic) structure of ancient Greek mathematics. In particular, he used the example of Greek arithmetic, which was hardly axiomatized by Euclid, to find roots in specific arithmetic rules from the ancient Orient, some of which are based on the use of calculating stones, which is also known from the Greek Psephoi arithmetic.

He also dealt with the history of geology ( Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz ) and Christian Wolff as a mathematician.

From 1992 to 1997 he headed the Society for New Phenomenology , a philosophical branch founded by his doctoral supervisor Hermann Schmitz.

Fonts (selection)

  • From Eudoxus to Aristotle. The continuing effect of the Eudoxian doctrine of proportions in the Aristotelian doctrine of the continuum (= studies on ancient philosophy 8), BR Grüner, Amsterdam 1977.
  • Physics and physics theology of the young Kant. The prehistory of his general natural history and theory of heaven. BR Grüner, Amsterdam 1987.
  • The theology of physics as an object of historical research , in: W. Kreisel (Ed.), Mindset and Environment. Alano Verlag, Aachen 1988, pp. 163-181.
  • Cosmogeny as physical theology with the young Kant , in: W. Kreisel (Ed.), Mindset and Environment. Alano Verlag, Aachen 1988, pp. 183-227.
  • Beginnings of arithmetic in the ancient Orient and with the Greeks. BR Grüner, Amsterdam 1989.
  • Scientific practice and epistemology , in: Forum for Philosophy Bad Homburg (Ed.): Transition. Frankfurt 1991.
  • Mathematical writers , in: Hellmut Flashar (ed.), Philosophy of Antiquity 2/1: Sophistics, Socrates, Socratics, Mathematics, Medicine (= outline of the history of philosophy ), Schwabe, Basel 1998, pp. 365–453.
  • Editor with Michael Großheim : Rehabilitation of the subjective. Festschrift for Hermann Schmitz. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2008.

References and comments

  1. ^ Obituary notice Philosophical Seminar University of Kiel , with an obituary by Hermann Schmitz
  2. ^ A hypothesis on the discovery of incommensurable quantities by the Greeks , in: Journal for History of Exact Sciences, Volume 7, 1971, p. 325
  3. Waschkies, Leibniz geological research in the Harz , in: Herbert Brieger, Friedrich Niewöhner (eds.), Leibniz and Lower Saxony , Stuttgart 1999, 187-212
  4. ^ Waschkies, geological history, history and paleontology as reflected in the correspondence of GW Leibniz. On the history of the origins of Protogaea , in: Hans Poser u. a., Nihil sine ratione. People, nature and technology in GW's work. Leibniz , Volume 3, Berlin 2001, pp. 1327-1333
  5. ^ Waschkies, Christian Wolffs mathematical method in his lectures and textbooks, in: Uta Lindgren u. a. (Ed.): Natural science and technology in the baroque. Bayreuth Historical Colloquia 11, Cologne 1997, pp. 77-98