Calculus (was Re: Gymnosophists etc.)

Vidhyanath K. Rao vidynath at
Tue May 7 21:41:11 UTC 1996

> We might infer many things and most of our inferences would be invalid.
> Newton was the student of Barrow, here, and that influenced him to go into
> the type of problems I mentioned above whereas Leibnitz was more
> 'philosophical' and sought questions about 'le meilleur des mondes' (as
> Voltaire put it in his satirical portrayal of Leibnitz as Maitre Pangloss
> in 'Candide'). Your statement above is too general. Both really INVENTED
> quite new stuff!!

The point is that neither was operating in a vacuum and they both knew
what had been done in previous generation. Tanget calculation,
area calculation and the relation between them was known earlier,
for example to Barrow.

> I wish to apologize for the lack of Indological content of the above.

Me too, but this is not irrelevant to the topic at hand. After all,
there would have been no calculus with out algebra and the
input from Islamic, and thus indirectly from Babylonian, Indian and
perhaps Chinese, cultures into European tradition is considerable
with respect to algebra. If we did not have knowledge of the
various translations done, this too might be ignored with ``there
is no direct evidence of borrowing''.

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