Combinatorics
(989 words)

1. Beginnings: Leibniz, Pascal, and Kircher

Combinatorics as an area of the mathematical sciences that studies combinations of a finite number of symbols or objects obeying prescribed rules and calculates the possible number of such combinations emerged in the course of the 17th century. The term goes back to the Dissertatio de arte combinatoria (1666; “Dissertation on the Art of Combinatorics”) of the young Leibniz. But combinatorial questions had ari…

Cite this page
Jahnke, Hans Niels, “Combinatorics”, 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 19 October 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_022425>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206



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