Talk:Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy

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The 5th point in "The quarrel"[edit]

There is mention to "#5" in the section "The quarrel", however the list stops at #4. Was a fifth point of contention removed at some point? Does it need to be re-added, or does the section need to be edited to no longer address it? B-Con (talk) 17:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

You are correct. I accidentally placed the note in the wrong section (twice), having had technical difficulties in editing ('pilot failure' would be more accurate). This seems an outdated page (with a touch of the weird, i.e. 'did Newton not-plagiarize anything!' or words to that effect, at some point--so I've merely removed my bit, at least for the moment. Maybe more properly, later66.108.248.77 (talk) 12:11, 7 August 2015 (UTC)CA 2015;


People keep adding (me one of them) and removing the xkcd reference. Please explain why it doesn't belong in the "In Popular Culture" section here so it doesn't keep getting added and removed. Freddicus (talk) 21:16, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

How do we know that Newton discovered it besides his word[edit]

I know there are Newton followers who claimed that Newton shared the calculus with them before Leibniz's discovery. Besides their word it there any proof? Who were these people? I have never seen any solid evidence that clears Newton's name beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not steal the calculus from Leibniz and would like toknow if such evidence exists beyond his word and the word of some of this followers (who already were proven to be unreliable during the nasty dispute).

The more I learn about Newton, it seems that he might have stolen just about everything he is credited with. Does anyone have a list of his discoveries that are not shrouded in controversy?

It is so obvious that Liebniz discovered calculus. He is being surpressed by monoply men, because him, and Bernulli, knew besler, who invented a free energy wheel, which Liebniz wrote that it worked. SlickWillyLovesSex (talk) 06:28, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


Pls discuss at [[Talk: (talk) 11:57, 7 August 2015 (UTC)Calculus controversy: Newton v. Leibniz]]. Cheers, JackyR 23:39, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Invented vs Discovered[edit]

It is a question that had been the cause of a major intellectual controversy over who first invented the calculus...

I believe that the word invented should be replaced with discovered. I am under the impression that most mathematicians believe that mathematics is not "invented" by human inteligence. Rather, it is revealed or discovered by it. G9615111 02:09, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Anything one imagines is real, if and only, if it is well-defined. So, the awareness of knowledge itself is derived from imagination, and if it must be imagined, then it follows it has always existed. Therefore, knowledge is discovered, never invented. As the saying goes: There is nothing new under the sun. From this one can logically infer that future inventions have always existed. It's just that we have not the time to imagine them all. (talk) 09:29, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Isaac Barrow[edit]

What about him? It was my impression that he discovered what is now known as the "fundamental theorem of calculus", and he was Newton's advisor.Likebox 04:15, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

"That document was thoroughly machined by Newton." What does this mean? Please clarify. Xxanthippe 23:24, 20 October 2007 (UTC).

References, please![edit]

An article on such a controversial subject matter, needs more direct references to sources. Also, the language needs to be way more NPOV. -- 18:12, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

new evidence is a hoax[edit]

I removed the following from the article. It's a hoax.

  • Article on new evidence found An article on new correspondence found very recently between Leibniz and Newton which could potentially rewrite the history presented above. A book and more scholarly articles is forthcoming on this project. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

This article is incredibly biased[edit]

I vote that the neutrality of this article be reviewed due to severe bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrismaster (talkcontribs) 22:28, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Not only is it biased, it's no longer relevant. The first rigorous formulation of calculus appeared in 2002. (talk) 06:07, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I Removed "If science worked then as it does now..."[edit]

I removed the statement: "If science worked then as it does now, Leibniz would be considered the sole inventor of the calculus since he published first." since
1. It is not true as for example in US in case of patent priority disputes who publishes first is not relevant the only thing that matters is who had the idea first and all evidence is taken into account.
2. Even if it were true it would be irrelevant to the article since science did not work then the way it does now.
3. The whole idea that publication date should decide on such matters is silly as there are many inventors who never publish and by that rule they could never claim any inventions.
Enemyunknown (talk) 18:47, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

-- Yep. Counterfactuals tend to be held in low regard by historians because they just project the biases of the current on the past, which makes them completely incapable of holding any useful insight (talk) 11:18, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Leibniz discovered calculus[edit]

IT is so true. It is sited in many mathmatics sourcebooks. Newton was a fraud. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WaveEtherSniffer (talkcontribs) 22:08, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Neither of them were frauds. But they were both wrong. (talk) 02:45, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Archimedes developed calculus[edit]

So this news should be added eventually: —Preceding unsigned comment added by P1415926535 (talkcontribs) 21:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

This article is strictly about the Leibniz / Newton priority dispute. There are other articles more relevant to your concern (e.g., Archimedes Palimpsest and History of calculus). — Myasuda (talk) 15:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

The Science News article linked to above seems highly misleading. It says:

The researchers have discovered that Archimedes was working out principles that, centuries later, would form the heart of calculus and that he had a more sophisticated understanding of the concept of infinity than anyone had realized.

It's just as if that was not known until after the book was sold in 1998 and the researchers referred to here started work.

Nonsense. Archimedes knew nothing about infinity, just as no one else after him knows anything about infinity. Furthermore, infinity has nothing to do with the methods of calculus or the reason these work. There is no such thing as infinity or infinitesimal - both concepts are ill-defined. (talk) 09:34, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

It is true that they have found things that were not previously known. But the fact that Archimedes anticipated calculus, and many of the details of how he did that, were universally known long before that. Michael Hardy (talk) 02:45, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Review of Bardi's The Calculus Wars[edit]

In light of the "excoriating" and detailed review of Bardi's book in the latest AMS Notices (see Blank, Brian E. (2009), "Book Review: The Calculus Wars" (PDF), Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 56 (5): 602–610 ), it may be worth re-examining any of the article's information that was pulled from this text and it might be worth removing Bardi's book as a reference for this article. Of note, the book review mentions this Wikipedia article (see the last page) and laments the fact that there is no distinguishing between the authoritative reference (Hall's book) versus the non-authoritative reference (Bardi's book). — Myasuda (talk) 13:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

After checking the article history, I've removed all references to Bardi. The sentence to which Bardi was referenced has been in place at the article's inception. The references to Bardi were added by Nousernamesleft (talk · contribs · logs) on February 16, 2008 with no article content specific to Bardis book being added. If in-line cites are needed in this article, Blank's AMS Notices review (link provided above) provides an excellent overview of the controversy as well as a list of quality references. — Myasuda (talk) 14:39, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Portions of text copied from WW Rouse Ball[edit]

At least some of this article appears to have been copied word-for-word from the entry 'Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz' in W. W. Rouse Ball's A Short Account of the History of Mathematics. The first sentence, at least, is substantially plagiarized ('The last years of Leibniz's life, 1709–1716, were embittered by a long controversy with John Keill, Newton, and others, over whether Leibniz had discovered calculus independently of Newton, or whether he had merely invented another notation for ideas that were fundamentally Newton's') and subsequent fragments seem to have started out that way and been edited or augmented in the meantime ('The ideas of the infinitesimal calculus can be expressed either in the notation of fluxions or in that of differentials...'). Leftwinglocker (talk) 12:53, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I've added a template. But the article needs a lot of work to remove the plagiarism entirely. Adpete (talk) 01:52, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
The source is from 1908. One option might be to have a disclaimer such as used for the 1910 Encyclopaedia Britannica? Fotoguzzi (talk) 05:15, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


Isn't there an undisputed(or at least well known and documented) case where Leibniz plagiarized Spinoza? That seems to substantially undermine any assumption of good faith on Leibniz's part. (talk) 04:24, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Amusing as ever, how people try to apply today's standards to an incident that happened some 300 years ago... -- (talk) 09:30, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

It does not matter any more.[edit]

Both Newton and Leibniz were wrong, so it does not really matter. The first rigorous formulation of calculus occurred in 2002. (talk) 02:43, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Who Is This "He"?[edit]

"However, to view the development of calculus as entirely independent between the work of Newton and Leibniz misses the point that both had some knowledge of the methods of the other, and in fact worked together on some aspects, in particular power series, as is shown in a letter to Henry Oldenburg dated October 24, 1676 where he remarks that Leibniz had developed a number of methods, one of which was new to him."

Who the "he" is in the above sentence is not very clear: I'd guess Newton, but the pronoun should just be replaced by the person's name. GeneCallahan (talk) 12:25, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

The answer is that "he" is Newton:
Whether the linked site counts as a reliable source, I'm not sure. The section was confusing to me, too. Fotoguzzi (talk) 05:16, 29 November 2014 (UTC)