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BSA - 4

acts as a perfect geometrician. this argument lacks any equivalent of the independent variable. for him. Hence. is a body of eternal truths describing an objectively known reality. a model for inquiry in other fields. geometry is but the science of the continuous. a great philosopher. Summary Leibniz. He stated that although ellipses and parabolas look dissimilar. and the reverse. “We pass always from the small to the great. But Leibniz expanded it into a celebration of the unfailing continuity exhibited by all the curves and functions of contemporary mathematics.Leibniz and the Spell of the Continuous I. Obviously. He felt that God’s design and operation of the universe are at bottom mathematical---the sovereign wisdom. However. He even related this to a realm seemingly. Points of seeming discontinuity are actually occupied by organisms sharing traits with neighbors on both sides. In time this universality of the continuous acquired for him the status of a great overarching principle. the passage from initial ellipse to final parabola traverses a continuum of intervening ellipses. the source of all things. In particular. He emphasized in his arguments that such is considered as an exact and certain science. Any missing rungs and any gaps between known species will be filled as naturalists discover new forms. “nature makes no leaps”. with which to render the change explicable”. He even supported it with a religious sense. and added by this. Continuity became not a fact to be verified in each new investigation but an assumption made in advance and a source of other conclusions. through the medium”. he bred passionately a commitment to the continuous. Mathematics. lex continui. was the pioneer contributor to the infinitesimal calculus. he exulted that the inherently reasonable behavior of these objects made them amenable to the powerful new techniques of analytic geometry and the calculus. a parabola can be regarded as the limit obtainable from an ellipse by letting one focus go to infinity. “No single instance can be adduced of any property suddenly arising without the possibility of our determining the intermediate transitions. The Law of Continuity. Still. was expressed by him in this saying. His metaphysical views were profoundly shaped by his mathematical knowledge and experience. biology. He wrote in his study. Leibniz also pointed out another argument that supported continuity. . The statement had aimed merely to contrast the intuitively obvious continuity of geometrical entities. the points of inflection and singular points. and a source of potential insight into God’s creation and governance of the world.

It has visible lapses evidenced by arguments. applied to the temporal sequence of the world’s events. He also associated it to the religious sense that God is the perfect geometrician as His design and operation of the universe are at bottom mathematical. physics would allow a sudden interruption. II. The abovementioned ideas supported the law of continuity. Points of Disagreement The arguments presented by Leibniz had lapses on some parts however. Realization In the beginning. IV. Points of Agreement The Law of Continuity. The law of continuity does not apply to all geometrical entities like line segments with the discreteness of the objects of arithmetic. III. geometry is “but the science of the continuous”. the lapses and flaws presented are overshadowed by strong points and ideas of Leibniz correlated to different aspects of science and religion. the regularity of continuity has been solidified and materialized. the Law of Continuity is not as concrete as it is. He cited some examples such as the relation of ellipses and parabolas wherein the passage from initial ellipse to final parabola traverses a continuum of intervening ellipses. . it can only be achieved if the physical must be constantly in harmony with the geometrical. The contrary would happen if wherever geometry requires some continuations. when all the curves and functions under study exhibited the reassuring regularity of the continuous. This has been pointed out in the arguments of Leibniz as he illustrated it in the different aspects.The philosophy of Leibniz equates to a mathematical innocence. However. In the aspect of regularity. Hence. hence. entails that every physical occurrence can and must be explained in terms of preceding states.