This book contains around 80 articles on major writings in mathematics published between 1640 and 1940. All aspects of mathematics are covered: pure and applied, probability and statistics, foundations and philosophy. Sometimes two writings from the same period and the same subject are taken together. The biography of the author(s) is recorded, and the circumstances of the preparation of the writing are given. When the writing is of some lengths an analytical table of its contents is supplied. The contents of the writing is reviewed, and its impact described, at least for the immediate decades. Each article ends with a bibliography of primary and secondary items.

Key Features

  • First book of its kind
  • Covers the period 1640-1940 of massive development in mathematics
  • Describes many of the main writings of mathematics
  • Articles written by specialists in their field


Mathematicians, Statisticians, Historians of science, Logicians and Philosophers

Table of Contents

Introduction (I. Grattan-Guinness) 1649 René Descartes, Geometria (Michel Serfati) 1656 John Wallis, Arithmetica infinitorum (Jackie Stedall) 1673 Christiaan Huygens, Horologium (Joella Yoder) 1684 G.W. Leibniz, first two calculus papers (Silvia Roero) 1687 Isaac Newton, Principia mathematica (Niccolo' Guicciardini) 1713 James Bernoulli, De arte conjectandi (Ivo Schneider) 1718 Abraham De Moivre, Doctrine of chances (Ivo Schneider) 1734 George Berkeley, The analyst (Douglas Jesseph) 1738 Daniel Bernoulli, Hydrodynamica (Gleb Mikhailov) 1742 Colin MacLaurin, Treatise on fluxions (Erik Lars Sageng) 1743 Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Traité de dynamique (Helmut Pulte) 1744 Leonhard Euler, Methodus inveniendi (Craig Fraser) 1748 Leonhard Euler, Introductio ad analysin infinitorum (Karin Reich) 1755 Leonhard Euler, Differentialis (Sergei Demidov) 1763 Thomas Bayes and Richard Price, paper on probability theory (Andrew Dale) 1788 J.L. Lagrange, Méchanique analitique (Helmut Pulte) 1795 Gaspard Monge, Géométrie descriptive (Joel Sakarovitch) 1797 J.L. Lagrange, Fonctions analytiques (Craig Fraser) 1797-1800 S. F. Lacroix, Traité du calcul (Joao Caramalho Domingues) 1799-1802 Etienne Montucla and J.J. Lalande, Histoire des mathématiques, second edition (Pierre Crépel and Alain Coste) 1799-1805 P.S. Laplace, Exposition du système du monde, second edition, and Mécanique céleste (I. Grattan-Guinness) 1801 C.F. Gauss, Disquisitiones arithmeticae (Olaf Neumann) 1809 C.F. Gauss, Theoria motus corporum coelestium (Curtis Wilson) 1812, 1814 P.S. Laplace, Théorie analytique des probabilités and Essai philosophique (Stephen M. Stigler


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© 2005
Elsevier Science
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"This remarkable book is itself a landmark publication in history of mathematics...The book is a must item for every mathematical library." --Zentralblatt Math

"This ecumenical feature will ensure that even professional historians of mathematics will find something new in this most welcome addition to the literature on the history of modern mathematics and its applications." --Mathematical Reviews

"This beautifully produced book comes with several very fine pictures and figures, as well as useful indices. The anthology presents the full nuances of the historical process, chances (theories) both realized and acknowledged or rejected, which results in a level of discussion to which all scholarly work on the history of mathematics should aspire." --Richard Siegmund-Schultze (Agder University College)