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Peacock, Babbage, and the “Heresy of the Dots”

Peacock, Babbage, and the “Heresy of the Dots”

(p.135) Chapter Five Peacock, Babbage, and the “Heresy of the Dots”
Creatively Undecided
Menachem Fisch
University of Chicago Press

The chapter describes the background to the young Peacock's mathematical career – his involvement as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, alongside fellow students John Herschel, Charles Babbage and a little later, William Whewell, in the Analytical Society, and the role it played in revolutionizing the university's mathematics curriculum – and the keen ambivalating challenge to his native "Lockean" view of algebra as generalized arithmetic that he encountered especially in Babbage's work on "pure analysis" which is described in some detail.

Keywords:   Cambridge mathematics, Trinity College, George Peacock, John Herschel, Charles Babbage, William Whewell, The Analytical Society, John Locke, algebra, generalized arithmetic

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