Chapter 2

Number, Geometry and Dialectic

The Origin of Geometry

In his essay, “The Origin of Geometry”, Edmund Husserl examines geometry as a heritage that is both handed down and rediscovered.1 He argues that the field of geometric enquiry entails ideal objects – ready-made and unalterable configurations – whose meanings are revealed by a twofold process: by “regressive enquiry” into the history of geometry, and by a “continual forward development” that imparts a sense of discovering geometric truths as if for the first time.2 This conflation of reflective and anticipatory realms could be said to constitute the essence of geometry as a tradition.3

In this chapter I will examine the inter-relationship between perspective and geometry by taking ...

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