more from Augustin-Louis Cauchy

Single Idea 18084

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. The Infinite / l. Limits]

Full Idea

When the values successively attributed to the same variable approach indefinitely a fixed value, eventually differing from it by as little as one could wish, that fixed value is called the 'limit' of all the others.

Gist of Idea

When successive variable values approach a fixed value, that is its 'limit'


Augustin-Louis Cauchy (Cours d'Analyse [1821], p.19), quoted by Philip Kitcher - The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge 10.4

Book Reference

Kitcher,Philip: 'The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge' [OUP 1984], p.247

A Reaction

This seems to be a highly significan proposal, because you can now treat that limit as a number, and adds things to it. It opens the door to Cantor's infinities. Is the 'limit' just a fiction?