The widespread idea that infinitesimals were “eliminated” by the “great triumvirate” of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass is refuted by an uninterrupted chain of work on infinitesimal-enriched number systems. The elimination claim is an oversimplification created by triumvirate followers, who tend to view the history of analysis as a pre-ordained march toward the radiant future of Weierstrassian epsilontics. In the present text, we document distortions of the history of analysis stemming from the triumvirate ideology of ontological minimalism, which identified the continuum (...) with a single number system. Such anachronistic distortions characterize the received interpretation of Stevin, Leibniz, d’Alembert, Cauchy, and others. (shrink)
There was a time when science, myth, and religion were one. Our best theories of the world were a strange mixture of demons, gods, magic, and mathematics. The Babylonians believed in gods and a universe consisting of six disks. Early Christians believed that a single god created the universe in seven days. And Plato believed that the world we see is an imperfect shadow of the real world of forms and numbers.
Gilles Deleuze’s engagements with mathematics, replete in his work, rely upon the construction of alternative lineages in the history of mathematics, which challenge some of the self imposed limits that regulate the canonical concepts of the discipline. For Deleuze, these challenges provide an opportunity to reconfigure particular philosophical problems – for example, the problem of individuation – and to develop new concepts in response to them. The highly original research presented in this book explores the mathematical construction of Deleuze’s philosophy, (...) as well as addressing the undervalued and often neglected question of the mathematical thinkers who influenced his work. -/- In the wake of Alain Badiou’s recent and seemingly devastating attack on the way the relation between mathematics and philosophy is configured in Deleuze’s work, Simon Duffy offers a robust defence of the structure of Deleuze’s philosophy and, in particular, the adequacy of the mathematical problems used in its construction. By reconciling Badiou and Deleuze’s seeming incompatible engagements with mathematics, Duffy succeeds in presenting a solid foundation for Deleuze’s philosophy, rebuffing the recent challenges against it. -/- Simon B. Duffy is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Yale-NUS College, Singapore, and Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is the author of The Logic of Expression: Quality, Quantity, and Intensity in Spinoza, Hegel and Deleuze (2006). (shrink)
Much has been made of Deleuze’s Neo-Leibnizianism,3 however not very much detailed work has been done on the specific nature of Deleuze’s critique of Leibniz that positions his work within the broader framework of Deleuze’s own philo- sophical project. The present chapter undertakes to redress this oversight by providing an account of the reconstruction of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in The Fold. Deleuze provides a systematic account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphys- ics in terms of its mathematical underpinnings. (...) However, in doing so, Deleuze draws upon not only the mathematics developed by Leibniz – including the law of continuity as reflected in the calculus of infinite series and the infinitesimal calculus – but also the developments in mathematics made by a number of Leibniz’s contemporaries – including Newton’s method of fluxions – and a number of subsequent developments in mathematics, the rudiments of which can be more or less located in Leibniz’s own work – including the theory of functions and singularities, the theory of continuity and Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions. Deleuze then retrospectively maps these developments back onto the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. While the theory of continuity serves to clarify Leibniz’s work, Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions offers a solution to overcome and extend the limits that Deleuze identifies in Leibniz’s metaphysics. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz’s work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. What is provided in this chapter is an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics, which, I maintain, subtends the entire text of The Fold. (shrink)
Just before the Scientific Revolution, there was a "Mathematical Revolution", heavily based on geometrical and machine diagrams. The "faculty of imagination" (now called scientific visualization) was developed to allow 3D understanding of planetary motion, human anatomy and the workings of machines. 1543 saw the publication of the heavily geometrical work of Copernicus and Vesalius, as well as the first Italian translation of Euclid.
Este artículo presenta un alnplio panorama histórico de las conexiones existentes entre ramas de las matematícas y tipos de lógica durante el periodo 1800-1914. Se observan dos corrientes principales,bastante diferentes entre sí: la lógica algebraica, que hunde sus raíces en la logique yen las algebras de la época revolucionaria francesa y culmina, a través de Boole y De Morgan, en los sistemas de Peirce y de Schröder; y la lógica matematíca, que tiene una fuente de inspiraeión en el analisis matemático (...) de Cauchy y de Weierstrass y culmina, a través de las inieiativas de Peano y de la teoria de conjuntos deCantor, en la obra de Russell. Se extraen algunas conclusiones generales, con referencias relativas a la situaeión posterior a 1914.This article contains a broad historical survey of the connections made between branches of mathematics and types of logic during the period 1800-1914. Two principal streams are noted, rather different from each other: algebraic logic, rooted in French Revolutionary logique and algebras and culminating, via Boole and De Morgan, in the systems of Peirce and Schröder; and mathematical logic, inspired by the mathematical analysis of Cauchy and Weierstrass and culminating, via the initiatives of Peano and the set theory of Cantor, in the work of Russell. Some general conclusions are drawn, with examples given of the state of affairs after 1914. (shrink)
This paper critically assesses the claim by Gavin Menzies that Regiomontanus knew about the Chinese Remainder Theorem (CRT) through the Shù shū Jiǔ zhāng (SSJZ) written in 1247. Menzies uses this among many others arguments for his controversial theory that a large fleet of Chinese vessels visited Italy in the first half of the 15th century. We first refute that Regiomontanus used the method from the SSJZ. CRT problems appear in earlier European arithmetic and can be solved by the method (...) of the Sun Zi, as did Fibonacci. Secondly, we pro-vide evidence that remainder problems were treated within the European abbaco tradition independently of the CRT method. Finally, we discuss the role of recreational mathematics for the oral dissemination of sub-scientific knowledge. (shrink)
What is the function of logic in al-Kind's theory of categories as it was presented in his epistle On the Number of Aristotle's Books (F treats the Categories as a logical book, but in a manner different from that of the classical Aristotelian tradition. He ascribes a special status to the categories Quantity (kammiyya) and Quality (kayfiyya), whereas the rest of the categories are thought to be no more than different combinations of these two categories with the category Substance. The (...) discussion will pay special attention to the function of the categories of Quantity and Quality as mediators between logic and mathematics. (shrink)
Many historians of the calculus deny significant continuity between infinitesimal calculus of the seventeenth century and twentieth century developments such as Robinson’s theory. Robinson’s hyperreals, while providing a consistent theory of infinitesimals, require the resources of modern logic; thus many commentators are comfortable denying a historical continuity. A notable exception is Robinson himself, whose identification with the Leibnizian tradition inspired Lakatos, Laugwitz, and others to consider the history of the infinitesimal in a more favorable light. Inspite of his Leibnizian sympathies, (...) Robinson regards Berkeley’s criticisms of the infinitesimal calculus as aptly demonstrating the inconsistency of reasoning with historical infinitesimal magnitudes. We argue that Robinson, among others, overestimates the force of Berkeley’s criticisms, by underestimating the mathematical and philosophical resources available to Leibniz. Leibniz’s infinitesimals are fictions, not logical fictions, as Ishiguro proposed, but rather pure fictions, like imaginaries, which are not eliminable by some syncategorematic paraphrase. We argue that Leibniz’s defense of infinitesimals is more firmly grounded than Berkeley’s criticism thereof. We show, moreover, that Leibniz’s system for differential calculus was free of logical fallacies. Our argument strengthens the conception of modern infinitesimals as a development of Leibniz’s strategy of relating inassignable to assignable quantities by means of his transcendental law of homogeneity. (shrink)
We offer an interpretation of the words and works of Richard Dedekind and the David Hilbert of around 1900 on which they are held to entertain diverging views on the structure of a deductive science. Firstly, it is argued that Dedekind sees the beginnings of a science in concepts, whereas Hilbert sees such beginnings in axioms. Secondly, it is argued that for Dedekind, the primitive terms of a science are substantive terms whose sense is to be conveyed by elucidation, whereas (...) Hilbert dismisses elucidation and consequently treats the primitives as schematic. (shrink)
The article deals with the Arabic sources of Chr. Clavius in Rome and the six different ways they were used by him in mathematics and astronomy. It inquires especially into his attitude towards al-Farghani, Thabit ibn Qurra, al-Bi[tdotu]ruji, Ibn Rushd, Mu[hdotu]ammad al-Baghdadi, Pseudo-Ibn al-Haytham, Jabir ibn Afla[hdotu], and Pseudo-al-[Tuotu]usi.
This paper presents sources pertinent to the transmission of Euclid’s Elements in Western medieval civilization. Some important observations follow from the pure description of the sources concerning the development of mathematics, e.g., the text of the Elements was supplemented with new axioms, proofs and theorems as if an “a priori skeleton” lost in Dark Ages was reconstructed and rediscovered during the late Middle Ages. Such historical facts indicate the aprioricity of mathematics.
The aim of the paper is to discuss the influence exercised by Russell's thought inGöttingen in the period leading to the formulation of Hilbert's program in theearly twenties. I show that after a period of intense foundational work, culminatingwith the departure from Göttingen of Zermelo and Grelling in 1910 we witnessa reemergence of interest in foundations of mathematics towards the end of 1914. Itis this second period of foundational work that is my specific interest. Through theuse of unpublished archival sources (...) I will describe how Hilbert, Behmann, and Bernays,among others, were influenced by and reacted to the technical and philosophical thesespresented in Principia Mathematica. I also argue that there are some elements of continuity between Russell's approach and Hilbert's program as it was presented inthe early twenties. (shrink)
From Brouwer To Hilbert: The Debate on the Foundations of Mathematics in the 1920s offers the first comprehensive introduction to the most exciting period in the foundation of mathematics in the twentieth century. The 1920s witnessed the seminal foundational work of Hilbert and Bernays in proof theory, Brouwer's refinement of intuitionistic mathematics, and Weyl's predicativist approach to the foundations of analysis. This impressive collection makes available the first English translations of twenty-five central articles by these important contributors and many others. (...) The articles have been translated for the first time from Dutch, French, and German, and the volume is divided into four sections devoted to (1) Brouwer, (2) Weyl, (3) Bernays and Hilbert, and (4) the emergence of intuitionistic logic. Each section opens with an introduction which provides the necessary historical and technical context for understanding the articles. Although most contemporary work in this field takes its start from the groundbreaking contributions of these major figures, a good, scholarly introduction to the area was not available until now. Unique and accessible, From Brouwer To Hilbert will serve as an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of mathematics, and will also be an invaluable resource for philosophers, mathematicians, and interested non-specialists. (shrink)
The seventeenth century saw dramatic advances in mathematical theory and practice. With the recovery of many of the classical Greek mathematical texts, new techniques were introduced, and within 100 years, the rules of analytic geometry, geometry of indivisibles, arithmatic of infinites, and calculus were developed. Although many technical studies have been devoted to these innovations, Mancosu provides the first comprehensive account of the relationship between mathematical advances of the seventeenth century and the philosophy of mathematics of the period. Starting with (...) the Renaissance debates on the certainty of mathematics, Mancosu leads the reader through the foundational issues raised by the emergence of these new mathematical techniques, including the influence of the Aristotelian conception of science in Cavalieri and Guldin, the foundational relevance of Descartes' Geometrie, the relation between geometrical and epistemological theories of the infinite, and the Leibnizian calculus and the opposition to infinitesimalist procedures. In the process Mancosu draws a sophisticated picture of the subtle dependencies between technical development and philosophical reflection in seventeenth century mathematics. (shrink)
In this paper I show that proofs by contradiction were a serious problem in seventeenth century mathematics and philosophy. Their status was put into question and positive mathematical developments emerged from such reflections. I analyse how mathematics, logic, and epistemology are intertwined in the issue at hand. The mathematical part describes Cavalieri's and Guldin's mathematical programmes of providing a development of parts of geometry free of proofs by contradiction. The logical part shows how the traditional Aristotelean doctrine that perfect demonstrations (...) are causal demonstrations influenced the reflection on proofs by contradiction. The main protagonist of this part is Wallis. Finally, I analyse some epistemological developments arising from the Cartesian tradition. In particular, I look at Arnauld's programme of providing an epistemologically motivated reformulation of Geometry free of proofs by contradiction. The conclusion explains in which sense these epistemological reflections can be compared with those informing contemporary intuitionism. (shrink)
Eli Maor examines the role of infinity in mathematics and geometry and its cultural impact on the arts and sciences. He evokes the profound intellectual impact the infinite has exercised on the human mind--from the "horror infiniti" of the Greeks to the works of M. C. Escher from the ornamental designs of the Moslems, to the sage Giordano Bruno, whose belief in an infinite universe led to his death at the hands of the Inquisition. But above all, the book describes (...) the mathematician's fascination with infinity--a fascination mingled with puzzlement. "Maor explores the idea of infinity in mathematics and in art and argues that this is the point of contact between the two, best exemplified by the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, six of whose works are shown here in beautiful color plates."--Los Angeles Times "[Eli Maor's] enthusiasm for the topic carries the reader through a rich panorama."--Choice "Fascinating and enjoyable.... places the ideas of infinity in a cultural context and shows how they have been espoused and molded by mathematics."--Science. (shrink)
The thirty year long friendship between Imre Lakatos and the classic scholar and historian of mathematics Árpád Szabó had a considerable influence on the ideas, scholarly career and personal life of both scholars. After recalling some relevant facts from their lives, this paper will investigate Szabó's works about the history of pre-Euclidean mathematics and its philosophy. We can find many similarities with Lakatos' philosophy of mathematics and science, both in the self-interpretation of early axiomatic Greek mathematics as Szabó reconstructs it, (...) and in the general overview Szabó provides us about the turn from the intuitive methods of Greek mathematicians to the strict axiomatic method of Euclid's Elements. As a conclusion, I will argue that the correct explanation of these similarities is that in their main works they developed ideas they had in common from the period of intimate intellectual contact in Hungarian academic life in the mid-twentieth century. In closing, I will recall some relevant features of this background that deserve further research. (shrink)
often insisted existence in mathematics means logical consistency, and formal logic is the sole guarantor of rigor. The paper joins this to his view of intuition and his own mathematics. It looks at predicativity and the infinite, Poincaré's early endorsement of the axiom of choice, and Cantor's set theory versus Zermelo's axioms. Poincaré discussed constructivism sympathetically only once, a few months before his death, and conspicuously avoided committing himself. We end with Poincaré on Couturat, Russell, and Hilbert.
Leibniz is well known for his formulation of the infinitesimal calculus. Nevertheless, the nature and logic of his discovery are seldom questioned: does it belong more to mathematics or metaphysics, and how is it connected to his physics? This book, composed of fourteen essays, investigates the nature and foundation of the calculus, its relationship to the physics of force and principle of continuity, and its overall method and metaphysics. The Leibnizian calculus is presented in its origin and context together with (...) its main contributors: Archimedes, Cavalieri, Wallis, Hobbes, Pascal, Huygens, Bernoulli, and Nieuwentijt. Many of us know and probably have used the Leibnizian formula: to .. (shrink)
Using a contextual method the specific development of logic between c. 1830 and 1930 is explained. A characteristic mark of this period is the decomposition of the complex traditional philosophical omnibus discipline logic into new philosophical subdisciplines and separate disciplines such as psychology, epistemology, philosophy of science, and formal (symbolic, mathematical) logic. In the 19th century a growing foundational need in mathematics provoked the emergence of a structural view on mathematics and the reformulation of logic for mathematical means. As a (...) result formallogic was taken over by mathematics in the beginning of the 20th century as is shown by sketching the German example. (shrink)
Hölder’s review of Robert Graßmann’s Theory of Number provides the first statement of Hölder’s most significant tenets concerning the distinction between the genetic and axiomatic presentation of mathematics, the mature expression of which is found in Hölder’s book The Mathematical Method of 1924. By translating Hölder’s review into English, I hope to make this unique document known to a wider public. In my introductory note I provide some context to Hölder’s paper and a few other remarks concerning the translation work.
Figures of Thought looks at how mathematical works can be read as texts and examines their textual strategies. David Reed offers the first sustained and critical attempt to find a consistent argument or narrative thread in mathematical texts. Reed selects mathematicians from a range of historical periods and compares their approaches to organizing and arguing texts, using an extended commentary on Euclid's Elements as a central structuring framework. He develops fascinating interpretations of mathematicians' work throughout history, from Descartes to Hilbert, (...) Kronecker, Dedekind, Weil and Grothendieck. Reed traces the implications of this approach to the understanding of the history and development of mathematics. (shrink)