I’m sorry, but I must address this issue, as I had a dream about it mere hours ago (it’s like 10 AM) and if it’s infiltrated my dreams, it must be important to me.
So as I’ve stated, I’m reading The Calculus Wars. In the blog about said book, I briefly mentioned the fact that the book used the word “invented” to describe how calculus came about. As I read on, though, the author appears to switch randomly between the words “invented” and “discovered.”
As confused as I was at the beginning over this, I’m more confused now, mainly because I’m not sure which word should really be used. Really, what sounds more accurate?
If we say that Newton and Leibniz discovered calculus, that basically means that there is some sort of preexisting system of mathematics that humans are in the process of unlocking.
But if we say that they invented calculus, then it just seems kind of strange that they were able to just invent something with such mathematical power to explain all the things it explains.
But then again, I find it rather suspicious that human beings have developed these systems called “numbers” and “math” and they somehow magically explain the workings of the universe (velocity, the speed of light, rate of acceleration, etc.). I mean, don’t you find it the least bit suspicious that we can explain these things using simple formulas? It makes sense that the universe is ordered in some fashion, I just find it kind of odd that we’ve managed to gain possession of something that seems to be able to explain the patterns. It seems too easy, you know what I’m saying?
What if it’s all arbitrary?
(See, this is why I want to take freaking Metaphysics)