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  1.  37
    Interpreting the Infinitesimal Mathematics of Leibniz and Euler.Jacques Bair, Piotr Błaszczyk, Robert Ely, Valérie Henry, Vladimir Kanovei, Karin U. Katz, Mikhail G. Katz, Semen S. Kutateladze, Thomas McGaffey, Patrick Reeder, David M. Schaps, David Sherry & Steven Shnider - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (2):195-238.
    We apply Benacerraf’s distinction between mathematical ontology and mathematical practice to examine contrasting interpretations of infinitesimal mathematics of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, in the work of Bos, Ferraro, Laugwitz, and others. We detect Weierstrass’s ghost behind some of the received historiography on Euler’s infinitesimal mathematics, as when Ferraro proposes to understand Euler in terms of a Weierstrassian notion of limit and Fraser declares classical analysis to be a “primary point of reference for understanding the eighteenth-century theories.” Meanwhile, scholars like (...)
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  2.  8
    Fermat’s Dilemma: Why Did He Keep Mum on Infinitesimals? And the European Theological Context.Jacques Bair, Mikhail G. Katz & David Sherry - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (3):559-595.
    The first half of the 17th century was a time of intellectual ferment when wars of natural philosophy were echoes of religious wars, as we illustrate by a case study of an apparently innocuous mathematical technique called adequality pioneered by the honorable judge Pierre de Fermat, its relation to indivisibles, as well as to other hocus-pocus. André Weil noted that simple applications of adequality involving polynomials can be treated purely algebraically but more general problems like the cycloid curve cannot be (...)
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  3.  16
    Osculating Circle with Microscopes Within Microscopes.Jacques Bair & Valérie Henry - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (2):319-325.
    Classically, an osculating circle at a point of a planar curve is introduced technically, often with formula giving its radius and the coordinates of its center. In this note, we propose a new and intuitive definition of this concept: among all the circles which have, on the considered point, the same tangent as the studied curve and thus seem equal to the curve through a microscope, the osculating circle is this that seems equal to the curve through a microscope within (...)
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