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Was the Early Calculus an Inconsistent Theory?

Vickers, Peter (2007) Was the Early Calculus an Inconsistent Theory? [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    The ubiquitous assertion that the early calculus of Newton and Leibniz was an inconsistent theory is examined. Two different objects of a possible inconsistency claim are distinguished: (i) the calculus as an algorithm; (ii) proposed explanations of the moves made within the algorithm. In the first case the calculus can be interpreted as a theory in something like the logician’s sense, whereas in the second case it acts more like a scientific theory. I find no inconsistency in the first case, and an inconsistency in the second case which can only be imputed to a small minority of the relevant community.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: calculus, fluxions, infinitesimals, newton, leibniz, inconsistent
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics
    General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
    Depositing User: Dr Peter Vickers
    Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2007
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:15
    Item ID: 3477
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3477

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