The Great Leap to the Infinitely Small. Johann Bernoulli: Mathematician and Philosopher

Authors: Sierksma, Gerard; Sierksma, Wybe

Source: Annals of Science, Volume 56, Number 4, 1 October 1999 , pp. 433-449(17)

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd

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Johann Bernoulli is known mainly from his mathematical achievements concerning the differential and integral calculus, in which the concept of infinitely small plays a crucial part. This paper describes Bernoulli's struggle with this concept, especially the discrepancies that occur between his mathematical and philosophical interpretations. We concentrate on Bernoulli's Groningen period (1695-1705), in which the discussion with Leibniz about this question leads to a controversy between the two scholars.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 1999

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