[FOM] Peano (1912) on generalized functions?

Kreinovich, Vladik vladik at utep.edu
Mon Nov 24 18:16:05 EST 2014

Most probably, it is from Peano, G. 1912 "Derivata e differenziale," Atti Accad. sci. Torino 48: 47‑69 since this is a paper he wrote in 1912 about difficulties of diffentiation

From: fom-bounces at cs.nyu.edu [mailto:fom-bounces at cs.nyu.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Barany
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 8:12 AM
To: Foundations of Mathematics
Subject: [FOM] Peano (1912) on generalized functions?

Dear FOMers,
In Laurent Schwartz's autobiography, he writes the following:
The mathematician Peano wrote in 1912 on the difficulties of differentiation: "I am sure that something must be found. There must exist a notion of generalized functions which are to functions what the real numbers are to the rationals."
I haven't been able to find the source of this quote in articles circa 1912 in Peano's collected works, and Schwartz does occasionally take liberties with these sorts of attributions, but I was hoping someone on this list might recognize the quote or have a quick way of knowing where it's from, if it is indeed genuine.
Many thanks,

Princeton University
Program in History of Science
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