De la géométrie et du calcul des infiniment petits : les réceptions de l'algorithme leibnizien en France (1690-1706)

Abstract : This thesis is an attempt to reconstruct the reception history of Leibnizian calculus in French learned milieux (1690-1706). Two areas have been located: first among members of Malebranche’s circle, introduced to calculus by Jean Bernoulli, then the Académie des Sciences. In either case, the purpose is to highlight the horizon of expectation of the participants. Whereas this episode has been widely studied in terms of disruption, it is argued, through an analysis of primary sources –some of which un-edited– that calculus was greatly appropriated against a background of practices in use. The first chapter examines the mathematical heritage from which calculus was received by Malebranche’s circle. This analysis enables me to show that their appropriation rested on shared practices, and was not a virgin land, as has often been supposed. Our mathematicians realized that the differential algoritm fleshed out notions already involved in previous invention methods. The second chapter studies the genesis and construction of the first book of differential calculus written by L’Hospital and published in 1696, entitled Analyse des infiniment petits pour l’intelligence des courbes [Analysis of the infinitely small for the intelligence of curbs]. After this publication, calculus became very present at the Académie. A crisis arose between supporters and detractors of calculus. A close examination of their discourses –the object of my third chapter– helps clarify such notions as those of differential and curb, as well as the way it is possible to geometrically interpret the results from calculus.
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Sandra Bella. De la géométrie et du calcul des infiniment petits : les réceptions de l'algorithme leibnizien en France (1690-1706). Histoire, Philosophie et Sociologie des sciences. Université de Nantes, 2018. Français. ⟨tel-01942296⟩

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