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Mathematical Treasure: De Condillac's Language of Calculus

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714-1780) was a French philosopher, epistemologist, and Catholic priest. He was an associate of both Diderot and Rosseau. Condillac was also a prolific author, writing on the sources of human knowledge. His La Langue des Calculs (The Language of Calculus), published posthumously in 1798, stimulated speculations in the philosophy of mathematics of the time. The images shown here are from an 1877 edition of this book.

In the “Introduction” to this work, de Condillic explained his objectives.

The images above are presented courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and are available via Gallica.

Index to Mathematical Treasures in Convergence

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: De Condillac's Language of Calculus," Convergence (July 2018)