FOM: Keisler's book

Michel Eytan LILoL eytan at
Fri Nov 14 02:35:26 EST 1997

On 13-11-97 quoth Jon Barwise pithily:
>    	Keisler's book has been out of print for some time.  I suppose it
>    did not sell enough copies.  Why?  Well, not enough people wanted to teach
>    it, or if they did, they were  not able to convince their departments to
>    let them.

When I got my hands on the book I campaigned in my department for
adopting it -- at least _experimentally_, in *one* group (I was at U.
Paris V at that time, teaching a Calculus course to Liberal Arts type
students). Colleagues were either indifferent or frankly *hostile* and
the argument the same as Harvey Friedman gave in a more sophisticated
form on the list: the students would have to learn epsilon-delta style
maths anyway and what could you prove with infinitesimals that you
couldn't with the standard methods.
>    As for examples of infinitesimals, Jerry gives lots of them.  You should
>    really go to the library and look at the book. It is a gem. Its fate
>    reminds me of the fact that Windows is beating the MAC OS even though
>    almost all studies show the latter to be the better product.  Let's face
>    it, standardization wins.  That is one reason why Godel's prediction is
>    about the future of analysis is probably wrong.

The issue in Mac vs Windoze is more a question of money and marketing
than standardization...

>    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
>    Jon Barwise

Michel Eytan               eytan at
                "Don't be a sheep -- Think Different!"

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