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Joachim Jungius

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22 Oct 1587

Lübeck, Germany

23 Sept 1657

Hamburg, Germany

Joachim Jungius attended school in Lübeck until 1605. From 1606 until 1608 he attended the University of Rostock, where he studied metaphysics . On leaving Rostock he entered the University of Giessen where he later received his M.A.

In 1609 he was appointed professor of mathematics at Giessen and he held this post until 1614 when he began to become interested in medicine. In 1616 he returned to the University of Rostock to study medicine. Three years later he received a medical degree from the University of Padua.

Thereafter Jungius held chairs of mathematics at the University of Rostock from 1624 to 1625 and again 1626 to 1628. For one year in 1625 he held the chair of medicine at the University of Helmstedt. In 1629 he moved to Hamburg where he was professor of natural science until 1640.

As well as mathematics, Jungius was interested in natural science and the philosophy of science.

In mathematics Jungius proved that the catenary is not a parabola ( Galileo assumed it was). He was one of the first to use exponents to represent powers and he used mathematics as a model for the natural sciences.

The Logica Hamburgensis (1638) of Jungius presented late medieval theories and techniques of logic. He discussed valid oblique cases of arguments that do not fit into simpler forms of inference. For example

The square of an even number is even; 6 is even; therefore, the square of 6 is even.

The oblique case of an even number had to be put into the subject position so that standard arguments could be used. Aristotle had also dealt with this type of logical argument.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland