Date of Award
Dr. D. M. Seward
A study of the work of Leibniz is of importance for at least two reasons. In the first place, Leibniz was not alone among great men in presenting in his early works almost all the important mathematical ideas contained in his mature work, In the second place, the main ideas of his philosophy are to be attributed to his mathematical work, not vice versa. He was perhaps, the earliest to realize fully and correctly the important influence of a calculus on discovery. The almost mechanical operations which one goes through when one is using a calculus enables one to discover facts of mathematics or logic without any of that expenditure of the energy of thought which is so necessary when one is dealing with a department of knowledge that has not yet been reduced to the domain of operation of a calculus. These operations were developed and perfected by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and thus places all mathematicians of today in his debt.
Rhodes, Carolyn, "The Major Contribution of Leibniz to Infinitesimal Calculus" (1972). Honors Theses. 354.