Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,692 words)

1. Definition

The term “hypothesis” was originally used in mathematics to refer to something either given as a truth or presupposed, which was taken to prove the correctness or truth of a theorem or to solve a problem; early modern scholars utilized this approach (which can be seen, for example, in Euclid’s Elements) in their efforts to explain the nature of reality. In a second sense, hypothesis refers to theses and data considered true, b…

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Duchesneau, François and Herschborn, Lilli, “Hypothesis”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021209>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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