The Mathematical Intelligencer Vol 35 No 1 March 2013

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9 But all this competed with a brain drain. Jobs were scarce; many first-class Czech teachers went elsewhere in the Austro–Hungarian Empire—to (modern day) Croatia and Slovenia and other Balkan countries. There they contributed to the development of national science and education, inspired by activities developed in our country in the 1860s For more information about the founding of the Union of Czech Mathematicians see [8]. Mathematics in Bohemia was also pursued in the mathematics and natural sciences section of the Kra´lovska´ cˇeska´ Spolecˇnost nauk (The Royal Czech Scientific Society, founded in 1770) and in the Cˇeska´ akademie cı´sarˇe Frantisˇka Josefa I.

Although nearly all his activities were confined to the academic circles in which he moved, many viewed this distinguished scholar as an embodiment of the value system embraced by Germany’s intellectual and cultural elite. Widely read, he represented a distinctively German current of idealist philosophical thought most often associated with the writings of Hegel, which brings us to the theme of this column. Much of the historical literature devoted to mathematics ignores the abundant ties that once bound mathematical with philosophical thought.

Right) Prague’s astronomical clock again, now with four scientists—the astronomer, mathematician, and medical doctor Tadea´ˇs Ha´jek z Ha´jku (1525–1600), the medical doctor, physicist, and astronomer Jan Marek Marci z Kronlandu (1595–1667), the mathematician, philosopher, and priest Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), and the physicist Josef Maxmilia´n Petzval (1807–1891). The inscription on the left (from Horatius) reads Non fasces nec opes sola artis sceptra perennant [No power, no possession, only the reign of science and arts persists].

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