Transcendental law of homogeneity

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The transcendental law of homogeneity (TLH) is a heuristic principle enunciated by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz most clearly in a 1710 text entitled Symbolismus memorabilis calculi algebraici et infinitesimalis in comparatione potentiarum et differentiarum, et de lege homogeneorum transcendentali.[1] Henk J. M. Bos describes it as the principle to the effect that in a sum involving infinitesimals of different orders, only the lowest-order term must be retained, and the remainder discarded.[2] Thus, if is finite and is infinitesimal, then one sets

Similarly,

where the higher-order term du dv is discarded in accordance with the TLH. A recent study argues that Leibniz's TLH was a precursor of the standard part function over the hyperreals.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leibniz Mathematische Schriften, (1863), edited by C. I. Gerhardt, volume V, pages 377–382)
  2. ^ Bos, Henk J. M. (1974), "Differentials, higher-order differentials and the derivative in the Leibnizian calculus", Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 14: 1–90, doi:10.1007/BF00327456 
  3. ^ Katz, Mikhail; Sherry, David (2012), "Leibniz's Infinitesimals: Their Fictionality, Their Modern Implementations, and Their Foes from Berkeley to Russell and Beyond", Erkenntnis, arXiv:1205.0174Freely accessible, doi:10.1007/s10670-012-9370-y