Artículos con la etiqueta ‘Calculo infinitesimal’

A cognitive analysis of Cauchy’s conceptions of function, continuity, limit, and infinitesimal, with implications for teaching the calculus

Por • 12 ene, 2014 • Category: Opinion

In this paper we use theoretical frameworks from mathematics education and cognitive psychology to analyse Cauchy’s ideas of function, continuity, limit and infinitesimal expressed in his Cours D’Analyse. Our analysis focuses on the development of mathematical thinking from human perception and action into more sophisticated forms of reasoning and proof, offering different insights from those afforded by historical or mathematical analyses. It highlights the conceptual power of Cauchy’s vision and the fundamental change involved in passing from the dynamic variability of the calculus to the modern set-theoretic formulation of mathematical analysis.



Infinitesimals as an issue in neo-Kantian philosophy of science

Por • 6 abr, 2013 • Category: Filosofía

We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which one of the most important conceptual transformations of modern mathematics took place, namely the so-called revolution in rigor in infinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at the time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our main thesis is that Marburg neo-Kantian philosophy formulated a sophisticated position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the «great triumvirate» of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass that declared infinitesimals conceptus nongrati in mathematical discourse. Rather, following Cohen’s lead, the Marburg philosophers sought to clarify Leibniz’s principle of continuity, and to exploit it in making sense of infinitesimals and related concepts.