Euler developed a program which aimed to transform analysis into an autonomous discipline and reorganize the whole of mathematics around it. The implementation of this program presented many difficulties, and the result was not entirely satisfactory. Many of these difficulties concerned the integral calculus. In this paper, we deal with some topics relevant to understand Euler’s conception of analysis and how he developed and implemented his program. In particular, we examine Euler’s contribution to the construction of differential equations and his notion of indefinite integrals and general integrals. We also deal with two remarkable difficulties of Euler’s program. The first concerns singular integrals, which were considered as paradoxical by Euler since they seemed to violate the generality of certain results. The second regards the explicitly use of the geometric representation and meaning of definite integrals, which was gone against his program. We clarify the nature of these difficulties and show that Euler never thought that they undermined his conception of mathematics and that a different foundation was necessary for analysis.

Geometry and analysis in Euler’s integral calculus

ENEA, Maria Rosaria;
2017

Abstract

Euler developed a program which aimed to transform analysis into an autonomous discipline and reorganize the whole of mathematics around it. The implementation of this program presented many difficulties, and the result was not entirely satisfactory. Many of these difficulties concerned the integral calculus. In this paper, we deal with some topics relevant to understand Euler’s conception of analysis and how he developed and implemented his program. In particular, we examine Euler’s contribution to the construction of differential equations and his notion of indefinite integrals and general integrals. We also deal with two remarkable difficulties of Euler’s program. The first concerns singular integrals, which were considered as paradoxical by Euler since they seemed to violate the generality of certain results. The second regards the explicitly use of the geometric representation and meaning of definite integrals, which was gone against his program. We clarify the nature of these difficulties and show that Euler never thought that they undermined his conception of mathematics and that a different foundation was necessary for analysis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/193162
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