This is the first complete English translation of Pavel Florensky’s original and ambitious attempt to arrive at a geometric representation of imaginary numbers, in a context that had already captured the attention of other mathematicians, including Gauss, Argan, Cauchy and Bellavitis. Florensky did not limit his attempt solely to complex projective geometry, but extended it to encompass Ptolemaic-Dantean cosmology and Einstein’s Principle of Relativity, as well as a new epistemological theory. The resulting treatise combines various disciplines and explores the relationship between an immanent realm of knowledge and a transcendent one.
Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) was a Russian Orthodox theologian, priest, philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. He is considered a polymath in the same way as Pascal or Leonardo. His book The Pillar and the Ground of Truth (1914) is widely seen as a masterpiece of Russian Orthodox theology. In 1933 he was sent to forced labor camps where, four years later, he was executed on false charges during the Soviet anti-religious purges of the 1930s.