Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers

J. Bair, P. Błaszczyk, R. Ely, V. Henry, V. Kanovei, K. U. Katz, M. G. Katz, T. Kudryk, S. S. Kutateladze, T. McGaffey, T. Mormann, D. M. Schaps, D. Sherry

Résultats de recherche: Contribution à un journal/une revueArticle

Résumé

Procedures relying on infinitesimals in Leibniz, Euler and Cauchy have been interpreted in both a Weierstrassian and Robinson's frameworks. The latter provides closer proxies for the procedures of the classical masters. Thus, Leibniz's distinction between assignable and inassignable numbers finds a proxy in the distinction between standard and nonstandard numbers in Robinson's framework, while Leibniz's law of homogeneity with the implied notion of equality up to negligible terms finds a mathematical formalisation in terms of standard part. It is hard to provide parallel formalisations in a Weierstrassian framework but scholars since Ishiguro have engaged in a quest for ghosts of departed quantifiers to provide a Weierstrassian account for Leibniz's infinitesimals. Euler similarly had notions of equality up to negligible terms, of which he distinguished two types: geometric and arithmetic. Euler routinely used product decompositions into a specific infinite number of factors, and used the binomial formula with an infinite exponent. Such procedures have immediate hyperfinite analogues in Robinson's framework, while in a Weierstrassian framework they can only be reinterpreted by means of paraphrases departing significantly from Euler's own presentation. Cauchy gives lucid definitions of continuity in terms of infinitesimals that find ready formalisations in Robinson's framework but scholars working in a Weierstrassian framework bend over backwards either to claim that Cauchy was vague or to engage in a quest for ghosts of departed quantifiers in his work. Cauchy's procedures in the context of his 1853 sum theorem (for series of continuous functions) are more readily understood from the viewpoint of Robinson's framework, where one can exploit tools such as the pointwise definition of the concept of uniform convergence. As case studies, we analyze the approaches of Craig Fraser and Jesper Lützen to Cauchy's contributions to infinitesimal analysis, as well as Fraser's approach toward Leibniz's theoretical strategy in dealing with infinitesimals. The insights by philosophers Ian Hacking and others into the important roles of contextuality and contingency tend to undermine Fraser's interpretive.

langue originaleAnglais
Pages (de - à)115-144
Nombre de pages30
journalMatematychni Studii
Volume47
Numéro de publication2
Les DOIs
étatPublié - 1 janv. 2017

Empreinte digitale

Quantifiers
Cauchy
Euler
Formalization
Equality
Framework
Term
Uniform convergence
Homogeneity
Continuous Function
Exponent
Tend
Analogue
Decompose
Series
Theorem

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Bair, J., Błaszczyk, P., Ely, R., Henry, V., Kanovei, V., Katz, K. U., ... Sherry, D. (2017). Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers. Matematychni Studii, 47(2), 115-144. https://doi.org/10.15330/ms.47.2.115-144
Bair, J. ; Błaszczyk, P. ; Ely, R. ; Henry, V. ; Kanovei, V. ; Katz, K. U. ; Katz, M. G. ; Kudryk, T. ; Kutateladze, S. S. ; McGaffey, T. ; Mormann, T. ; Schaps, D. M. ; Sherry, D. / Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers. Dans: Matematychni Studii. 2017 ; Vol 47, Numéro 2. p. 115-144.
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Bair, J, Błaszczyk, P, Ely, R, Henry, V, Kanovei, V, Katz, KU, Katz, MG, Kudryk, T, Kutateladze, SS, McGaffey, T, Mormann, T, Schaps, DM & Sherry, D 2017, 'Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers', Matematychni Studii, VOL. 47, Numéro 2, p. 115-144. https://doi.org/10.15330/ms.47.2.115-144

Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers. / Bair, J.; Błaszczyk, P.; Ely, R.; Henry, V.; Kanovei, V.; Katz, K. U.; Katz, M. G.; Kudryk, T.; Kutateladze, S. S.; McGaffey, T.; Mormann, T.; Schaps, D. M.; Sherry, D.

Dans: Matematychni Studii, Vol 47, Numéro 2, 01.01.2017, p. 115-144.

Résultats de recherche: Contribution à un journal/une revueArticle

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Bair J, Błaszczyk P, Ely R, Henry V, Kanovei V, Katz KU et al. Cauchy, Infinitesimals and ghosts of departed quantifiers. Matematychni Studii. 2017 janv. 1;47(2):115-144. https://doi.org/10.15330/ms.47.2.115-144