FOM: Berkeley and nonstandard analysis

Martin Davis martin at
Thu Jan 27 18:19:06 EST 2000

At 11:25 AM 1/27/00 -0800, Charles Silver wrote:
>     Doesn't non-standard analysis show that Berkeley was wrong and Leibniz
>was right?

No. Berkeley's criticism was perfectly correct for the subject as it stood. 
He pointed out, for example, that the usual way to calculate derivatives 
first assumes a non-zero increment and then after a division by that 
increment, gets the result by setting that increment to 0. So two 
assumptions in direct contradiction were being used.


                           Martin Davis
                    Visiting Scholar UC Berkeley
                      Professor Emeritus, NYU
                          martin at
                          (Add 1 and get 0)

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