The Geometry of Gettysburg: Abraham Lincoln’s rhetoric as an application of the principles of Euclid’s method of geometrical demonstration.
In a one-page autobiographical note, written just before his election to the presidency, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln mentioned by name only one book as a formative educational influence: Euclid’s Elements. Apostolos Doxiadis re-examines Lincoln’s seminal speeches of the 1850s, as well as his two inaugurals and the Gettysburg Address, as largely shaped by his profound intuitive grasp of Euclidean methodology. Based on recent research on the cognitive infrastructure of classical Greek deductive mathematics, Doxiadis shows this influence to be much more pervasive than previously thought.
CV: Apostolos Doxiadis is a writer and scholar. Among his works of fiction are the novel Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture (Faber, 2000) and the graphic novel Logicomix (Bloomsbury, 2009). Recently, he co-edited the volume Circles Disturbed: The interplay of mathematics and narrative (Princeton, 2012), in which he contributed one of his recent studies of the cognitive style of Greek mathematics, and its genesis in poetry and classical rhetoric.