A quotation by Otto Toeplitz


Regarding all these basic topics in infinitesimal calculus which we teach today as canonical requisites ... the question is never raised, "Why so?" or "How does one arrive at them?" Yet all these matters must at one time have been goals of an urgent quest, answers to burning questions, at the time, namely, when they were created. If we were to go back to the origins of these ideas, they would lose that dead appearance of cut-and-dried facts and instead take on fresh and vibrant life again.
The calculus : A genetic approach (Chicago, 1963).


JOC/EFR December 2013

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