The development of the calculus during the 17th century was successful in mathematical practice, but raised questions about the nature of infinitesimals: were they real or rather fictitious? This collection of essays, by scholars from Canada, the US, Germany, Japan and Switzerland, gives a comprehensive study of the controversies over the nature and status of the infinitesimal. Aside from Leibniz, the scholars considered are Hobbes, Wallis, Newton, Berulli, Hermann, and Nieuwentijt. The collection also contains newly discovered marginalia of Leibniz to the writings of Hobbes.
Ursula Goldenbaum, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA and Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; Douglas Jesseph, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA.