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Calculus books are bad because there is no such subject as calculus …

… there are many books that violate the principle of having something to say by trying to say too many things. Teachers of elementary mathematics in the U.S.A. frequently complain that all calculus books are bad. That is a case in point. Calculus books are bad because there is no such subject as calculus; it is not a subject because it is many Subjects. What we call calculus nowadays is the union of a dab of logic and set theory, some axiomatic theory of complete ordered fields, analytic geometry and topology, the latter in both the “general” sense (limits and continuous functions) and the algebraic sense (orientation), real-variable theory properly so called (differentiation), the combinatoric symbol manipulation called formal integration, the first steps of lowdimensional measure theory, some differential geometry, the first steps of the classical analysis of the trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions, and, depending on the space available and the personal inclinations of the author, some cook-book differential equations, elementary mechanics, and a small assortment of applied mathematics. Any one of these is hard to write a good book on; the mixture is impossible.

— Paul Halmos (Hungarian-born US mathematician, 1916 – 2006)

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