Ipotesi sui punti materiali
In: Itinerari, 2015
This article attempts to investigate the development of the concept of material point. We will try to make evident the process – called by Enrico Giusti – of objectification of procedures, according to which new abstract mathematical entities entering the scene before as research tools, then as usefull entities to solve practical problems and finally become authonomous objects with their own theoretical dignity. The first step corresponds to the mechanical - heuristic study on the Centres of Gravity as part of Greek mathematics, in particular in the works of the mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse. The second step is equivalent to the rediscovery, which took place during the Renaissance, of the Archimedean works that allowed the development of the controversy on the deflected balance. The third stage is the one where an abstract mathematical entity starts to be used explicitly as an objet having its theoretical dignity.
Key-words: Center of Gravity; Material Point; Objectification of Procedures