Both these methods, differing from that now employed, are interesting as preliminary steps towards the method of fluxions and the differential calculus.
In the preface he states that the work was undertaken in consequence of the attack on the method of fluxions made by George Berkeley in 1734.
Maclaurin's object was to found the doctrine of fluxions on geometrical demonstration, and thus to answer all objections to its method as being founded on false reasoning and full of mystery.
He also gave in his Fluxions, for the first time, the correct theory for distinguishing between maxima and minima in general, and pointed out the importance of the distinction in the theory of the multiple points of curves.
Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746) and John Bernoulli (1667-1748), who were of this opinion, resolved the problem by more direct methods, the one in his Fluxions, published in 1742, and the other in his Hydraulica nunc primum detecta, et demonstrata directe ex fundamentis pure mechanicis, which forms the fourth volume of his works.