Comments on Indivisibles and Infinitesimals: A Response to David Sherry, by Amir Alexander: In View of the Original Book
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A set of six publications have introduced, commented, criticized and defended Amir Alexander’s book on infinitesimals published in 2014. The aim of the following article is to bring the various arguments together.
KeywordsHistory of mathematics Indivisibles Infinitesimals Wallis Grégoire de Saint Vincent XVIIth century
- Alexander, A. (2014). A brief history of infinitesimals: The idea that gave birth to modern calculus. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-brief-history-of-infinitesimals-the-idea-that-gave-birth-to-modern-calculus/.
- Alexander, A. (2014). Infinitesimal. How a dangerous mathematical theory shaped the modern world. New York: Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
- Arianrhod, R. (2014). On a compelling tale of Jesuits, geometry and heresy in the turbulent 17th century. Times Higher Education, 19 June 2014, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/infinitesimal-how-a-da…theory-shaped-the-modern-world-by-amir-alexander/2013940.article.
- Alexander, A. On indivisibles and infinitesimals: A response to David Sherry, The Jesuits and the method of indivisibles (to be published).Google Scholar
- Bascelli, T. (2015). Torricelli’s indivisibles. In V. Jullien (Ed.), Seventeenth-century indivisibles revisited (p. 115). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Child, J. M. (1920). The early mathematical manuscripts of Leibniz. Chicago: Open Court Publishing.Google Scholar
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- Grabiner, J. V. (2014). Review of Amir Alexander, infinitesimal: How a dangerous mathematical theory shaped the modern world. Mathematical Association of America, 06/12/2014. https://www.maa.org/press/maa-reviews/infinitesimal-how-a-dangerous-mathematical-theory-shaped-the-modern-world.
- Gregory of Saint Vincent. (2008). In Huygens Œuvres, II, Letter 673, p. 489–490. Quoted in Jean Dhombres et Patricia Radelet-de Grave, Une mécanique donnée à voir, Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium, pp. 104–105.Google Scholar
- Paulos, J. A. (2014). The 16th century’s line of fire ‘infinitesimal,’ a look at a 16th-century math battle. The New York Times, April 7, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/science/infinitesimal-looks-at-an-historic-math-battle.html?_r=0.
- Redondi, P. (1988). Galileo Eretico, Teorino, Enaudi; First English edition: Galileo: Heretic. London: Allen Lane Publishers.Google Scholar
- Sherry, D. The Jesuits and the method of indivisibles (to be published).Google Scholar
- Stedall, J. A. (2004). (trans.), The arithmetic of infinitesimals. John Wallis 1656. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Wallis, J. (1655). Arithmetica Infinitorum, Sive Nova Methodus Inquirendi in Curvilineorum Quadraturam, aliaque difficiliora Matheseos Problemata, Oxford. English translation see Stedall.Google Scholar
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