The Thread pp 61-69 | Cite as


  • Philip J. Davis


The world was crealed, so one legend goes, from the union of opposites. Since true opposites, cannot, logically speaking, exist simultaneously, both must give way, and in the collapse, new forms are created. This is the dialectic of the legend. In mathematics, plus infinity and minus infinity are, in a sense, opposites. Out of their conflict, symbolized by ∞—∞, comes the theory of limits. The mathematicians are clever — they can turn this struggle into ∞/∞or into o/o — and out of these forms comes the whole of the differential and integral calculus.


Historical Matter Palm Fiber Integral Calculus Return Post Young Colleague 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1983

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  • Philip J. Davis

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