Jacques Ozanam

French mathematician (1640-1718)

Jacques Ozanam (16 June 1640, in Sainte-Olive, Ain – 3 April 1718, in Paris) was a French mathematician.

Traité de la construction des equations pour la solution des problemes indeterminez, 1687

Quotes edit

  • The sun, as we have already said, is placed in the middle of our system, as a source of light and heat, to illuminate and vivify all the planets subordinate to it. Without his benign influence the earth would be a mere block, which in hardness would surpass marble and the most compact substances with which we are acquainted ; no vegetation, no motion would be possible: in a word, it would be the abode of darkness, inactivity and death. The first rank therefore among inanimate beings cannot be refused to the sun ; and if the error of addressing to a created object that adoration which is due to the Creator atone could admit of excuse, we might be tempted to excuse the homage paid to the sun by the ancient Persians, as is still the ease among the Guebres, their successors, and some savage tribes in America.
    • Jacques Ozanam, Recreations in mathematics and natural philosophy : Volume 3 van Recreations in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Published 1803. p. 140

A Mathematical Dictionary: Or; A Compendious Explication of All Mathematical Terms, 1702 edit

Joseph Raphson, Jacques Ozanam. A Mathematical Dictionary: Or; A Compendious Explication of All Mathematical Terms, Abridged from Monsieur Ozanam, and Others. With a Translation of His Preface; and an Addition of Several Easie and Useful Abstracts; J. Nicholson, 1702, p. 26

  • The Usefulness of the Mathematicks in General, and of some Parts of them in Particular, in the common Affairs of Humane Life, has rendered some competent Knowledge of them very necessary to a great Part of Mankind, and very convenient to all the Rest that are any way conversant beyond the Limits of their own particular callings.
    • Preface; lead paragraph
  • To be perfectly ignorant in all the Terms of them is only tolerable in those, who think their Tongues of as little Use to them, as generally their Understandings are. Those whom Necessity has obliged to get their Bread by Manual Industry, where some Degree of Art is required to go along with it, and who have had some Insight into these Studies, have very often found Advantages from them sufficient to reward the Pains they were at in acquiring them. And whatever may have been imputed (how justly I'm not now to determine) to some other Studies, under the Notion of Insignificancy and Loss of Time ; yet these, I believe, never caused Repentance in any, except it was for their Remissness in the Prosecution of them. And though Plato's Censure, that those who did not understand the 117 Prop. of the 10th Element, ought not to be ranked among Rational Creatures, wax unreasonable and unjust: Yet to give a Man the Character of Universal Learning that is destitute of a competent Knowledge in the Mathematics, is no less so.
    • Preface
  • Although the Mathematicks according to its Etymology, signifies only Discipline, yet it merits the Name of Science better than any other, because its Principles are self-evident, and independent on any sensible Experience, and its Propositions demonstrated beyond all possible Doubt or Opposition. Youth were anciently instructed herein before Philosophy, on which Account Aristotle called it the Science of Children. This was taught them not only to raise and excite their Genius, but also as a fit preparative to the Study of Nature; and it was upon this Account that the Divine Plato inscribed on his School... that none wholly ignorant of Geometry should be admitted there.
    • p. 1, The Introduction; Lead paragraph
  • By Science is understood a Knowledge acquired by, or founded on clear and self evident Principles, whence it follows that the Mathematicks may truly be stiled such.
    • p. 1, The Introduction
  • Mathematicks therefore is a Science which teaches or contemplates whatever is capable of Measure or Number as such. When it relates to Number, it is called Arithmetick; but when to measure, as Length, Breadth, Depth, Degrees of Velocity in Motion, Intenseness or Remissness of Sounds, Augmentation or Diminution of Quality, 6tc. it is called Geometry.
    • p. 1, The Introduction
  • The Essential Parts of the Simple or Pure Mathematicks are Arithmetick and Geometry, which mutually assist one another, and are independent on any other Sciences, except perhaps on Artificial Logick: But doubtless Natural Logick may be sufficient to a Man of Sense. The other parts are chiefly Physical Subjects explained by the Principles of Arithmetics or Geometry.
    • p. 2, The introduction
  • There are two general Methods made use of in the Mathematicks, viz. Synthesis and Analysis, which we shall explain, after having acquainted the Reader, that the Method we make use of to resolve a Mathematical Problem, is called Zetetick; and that that Method which determines when, and by what way, and how many different ways a Problem may be resolved, is called Poristick. But in treating of Methods, we will first premise, that in general, a Method is the Art of disposing a Train of Arguments or Consequences in a right Order, either to discover the Truth of a Theorem, which we would find out, or to demonstrate it to others, when found.
    • p. 26

Recreations in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, (1803) edit

Jacques Ozanam, Jean-Étienne Montucla, ‎Charles Hutton (1803) Recreations in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

  • It was the business of the Sorbonne doctors to discuss, of the pope to decide, and of a mathematician to go straight to heaven in a perpendicular line.
    • p. xv
  • Arithmetic and geometry, according to Plato, are the two wings of the mathematician. The object indeed of all mathematical questions, is to determine the ratios of numbers, or of magnitudes ; and it may even be said, to continue the comparison of the ancient philosopher, that arithmetic is the mathematician's right wing; for it is an incontestable truth, that geometrical determinations would, for the most part, present nothing satisfactory to the mind, if the ratios thus determined could not be reduced to numerical ratios. This justifies the common practice, which we shall here follow, of beginning with arithmetic.
    • p. 2

Quotes about Jacques Ozanam edit

  • Jacques Ozanam, whose fame is established as an eminent Mathematician, was born at Bouligneux in Brescia, in the year 1640: he was descended from a family of Jewish extraction, but which had long been converts to the Romish faith, and some of whom had held considerable places in the parliaments of Provence. Being a younger son, though of an opulent family, it was thought proper to educate him for the church, that he might be qualified for some small benefices belonging to the family: he accordingly studied divinity four years, but this was purely in obedience to the will of his father, upon whose death he relinquished his theological pursuits, and, following his natural inclinations, devoted himself to the study of the mathematics. Having considerable genius, as well as great industry, he made very great progress, though unassisted by a master, and at the juvenile age of 15 years, he wrote a mathematical treatise.
  • Ozanam possessed a mild and calm disposition, a cheerful and pleasant temper, an inventive genius, and a generosity almost unparalleled. After marriage, his conduct was irreproachable; and, at the same time that he was sincerely pious, he had a great aversion to disputes about theology.

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