Placing less emphasis on the intentions of Archimedes at the time, feminist mathematicians at the University of Uppsala are saying in a recent paper that they feel Archimedes’ principle formula F = pgV is problematic and should not be interpreted literally.
“Archimedes may have looked at a fluid and felt that it exerted an upward buoyant force on an object immersed in or floating on the fluid, but we feel that it’s problematic whenever a man is so certain that the magnitude of the buoyant force will always equal the weight of the fluid displaced by the object”, PhD Johanna Wahlgren said.
It’s generally problematic for men to draw any certain conclusions in mathematics, the feminist mathematicians say. “The world is uncertain, but the only thing we feel we can know, is that we don’t know, except that women are always victims and that all science by men should be looked at critically”, Professor Maria Lövenqvist felt in a statement.
According to Lövenqvist, it is important to understand that Archimedes was living in a very different time and in a patriarchal society which had slaves and white privilege. Therefore, we feel that we should look at his mathematical formulae as something that is alive and as something that progresses as we evolve as a human species”, the professor concluded.
The team of feminist mathematicians are expected to release another equally hard-hitting paper early next year. This time with a devastating criticism of the concept of division.