Newton-Leibniz Controversy Concerning The Calculus Essay

Newton-Leibniz Controversy Concerning The Calculus Essay

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The Newton-Leibniz Controversy Concerning the Discovery of the Calculus The calculus controversy was an argument between 17th century mathematicians Sir Isaac Newton, an English mathematician and Physicist, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German rationalist philosopher, mathematician, and logician, about the priority of the invention of the infinitesimal calculus. Newton claimed that he started working on the method of fluxions in 1666 but didn’t publish it. His discovery was known only inside Cambridge [4]. Leibniz began working on his method in 1671 and published his first paper in 1687. Newton accused Leibniz of using his idea and Leibniz argued that he didn’t have known of Newton’s method and he independently came up with his method. In 1669, Newton had become interested in mathematical analysis during his days as an undergraduate at Cambridge. He sent Isaac Barrow, who was Newton’s professor, the geometer, a manuscript entitled “Analysis per Equationes Numero…show more content… In the beginning this controversy was between two mathematicians but over time, it became controversy between English mathematician supporting Newton and French and German mathematicians supporting Leibniz. John Keill, a friend of Newton, openly accused Leibniz of plagiarism [2]. Because Leibniz published his article after the death of Collins, it was believed by many that through Collins, Leibniz had found about Newton’s method. Keill wrote to Leibniz on May 24, 1711, saying that he had not accused Leibniz of plagiarism of Newton’s method but that he had merely stated that Leibniz must have seen something from which he had been led to his method [2]. This letter outraged Leibniz and declared that his honor was attached and it was the duty of the Royal Society to silence Keill. At that time, Newton was the president of the Royal Society and he was displeased at Keill’s