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Home > Members > Members Webpages > CORTESE João F. N.


Research associate at SPHERE Laboratory – UMR 7219 (Université de Paris 7 / CNRS), working on the history and philosophy of mathematics

Research associate at Associação Filosófica Scientiae Studia, with a project on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Researcher at Hospital Infantil Sabará (São Paulo, Brazil), with a project on Philosophy of Health and Bioethics

Science journalist at Estado da Arte blog and podcast, hosted on the Estado de São Paulo website, one of the two biggest Brazilian journals. Responsible for the Science section

Teacher of Mathematics and Philosophy at Escola Waldorf Francisco de Assis, São Paulo, Brazil

Contact me at : joaocortese (( at ))


• 2013-2017: PhD in Epistemology and History of Science (University of Paris 7) and PhD in Philosophy (University of São Paulo)

Thesis: "Infinity in weight, number and measure: the comparison of incomparables in the works of Blaise Pascal" [in french]

Supervisors: David Rabouin (CNRS, Paris Diderot - SPHERE), Luís César Oliva (University of São Paulo)

Subvention: CNPq/CAPES

• 2011 – 2012 : Master in History in Philosophy of Science
(Université de Paris 7 – Diderot)

Dissertation: “Formes de l’analogie chez Pascal”
Supervisor: David Rabouin

• 2006 – 2011: Undergraduate studies in the University of São Paulo (mathematics, linguistics and philosophy)

Dissertation: “Analogias na matemática e na expressão linguística”
Supervisors: Marcos Lopes (USP), Jairo José da Silva (UNESP)

Prizes and distinctions

2018 Qualified as maître de conférences in section 17 - Philosophie, Conseil National des Universités (France).

2018 Qualified as maître de conférences in section 72 - Épistémologie, Histoire des Sciences et des techniques, Conseil National des Universités (France).

2018 3th place in the selection for Philosophy professor at Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA), Brazil


• Cortese, J. F. N. (2014). “Infinity between mathematics and apologetics: Pascal’s notion of infinite distance”, Synthese, 2015, v. 192, p. 2379-2393. First published online in 2014.

• Cortese, J. F. N. (2016). When two points coincide, or are at an infinitely small distance: Some aspects of the relation between the works of Leibniz, Pascal (and Desargues). In: Wenchao Li. (Org.). Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer: Vorträge des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses. 1ed.: Olms, 2016, v. 4, p. 165-178.

• Cortese, J. F. N. (2015). "Pierre Duhem leitor de Blaise Pascal: analogias no seio de descontinuidades". In: Carvalho, M.; Évora, F. R.; Tossato, C. R.; Pessoa Jr. O. Filosofia da Ciência e da Natureza. Coleção XVI Encontro ANPOF: ANPOF, p. 178-195, 2015. (In Portuguese).

• Cortese, J. F. N. (2016). "Pierre Duhem, intérprete de Blaise Pascal: analogías entre discontinuidades". In: Márquez, V. M. H.. (Org.). Pierre Duhem: entre física y metafísica. 1ed.Barcelona, Ciudad Juárez: Anthropos Editorial, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, 2016, v. , p. 45-68. Extended version of Cortese (2015).

• Cortese, J. F. N. (2016). Leibniz e o paradigma da perspectiva. Cadernos Espinosanos (USP), v. 34, p. 137-162.

Last presentations

•"Is the ‘delta’ a difference? On the prehistory of delta-epsilon notation in the works of Pascal and Leibniz", International Congress of Mathematicians, Rio de Janeiro, 2018.

•"From the comparison of ratios to the comparison of differences". 4th Meeting of the Association for the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice, Salvador, Brazil 2017.

•"A nothingness with regard to the infinite: Pascal and the relational and absolute aspects of infinity". PhilMath Intersem, Paris, 2017.

•"When two points coincide, or are at an infinitely small distance: Some aspects of the relation between the works of Leibniz, Pascal (and Desargues)". X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, Hannover, 2016.

• "Colocando os indivisíveis na balança". X AFHIC, Águas de Lindóia, 2016.

• “Peut-on retrouver des analogies entre des disproportions? Les mathématiques de Pascal”. Journées Jeunes Chercheurs en histoire des sciences et des techniques, Paris, November 2015.

• “Pascal and the cycloid: a mathematical work born in the context of a challenge”. 26th Novembertagung on the History of Mathematics, Torino, October 2015.

• “The Acceptance of Paradox: The Mathematics and the Apologetics of Blaise Pascal”. CREOR Graduate Students’ Conference, McGill University, Montréal, September 2015.

•“Da perspectiva à geometria projetiva: história de uma geometria e possibilidades de ensino”. 6 hours workshop. Escola HFC, Curitiba (Brazil), August 2015.

•“Leibniz e o paradigma da geometria projetiva”. Jornada Leibniz, Universidade de São Paulo, June 2015.

•“A geometria projetiva de Pascal e seu lugar na história do infinito”. IX Encontro da Asociación de Filosofía e Historia de la Ciencia del Cono Sur (AFHIC), Córdoba (Argentina), 2014.

•“The Pascalian Notion of Infinity: what does "infinite distance" mean?”. Foundations of the Formal Sciences VIII: History & Philosophy of Infinity, Cambridge (UK), 2013.