Corpus ID: 119116290

Infinitesimals, Imaginaries, Ideals, and Fictions

@article{Sherry2012InfinitesimalsII,
  title={Infinitesimals, Imaginaries, Ideals, and Fictions},
  author={David Sherry and M. Katz},
  journal={arXiv: History and Overview},
  year={2012}
}
Leibniz entertained various conceptions of infinitesimals, considering them sometimes as ideal things and other times as fictions. But in both cases, he compares infinitesimals favorably to imaginary roots. We agree with the majority of commentators that Leibniz's infinitesimals are fictions rather than ideal things. However, we dispute their opinion that Leibniz's infinitesimals are best understood as logical fictions, eliminable by paraphrase. This so-called syncategorematic conception of… Expand
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