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Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy (Dibner Institute Studies in the History of Science and Technology) Paperback – January 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

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""The authors are well-known Newton experts, and their contributions add many nuances to our image of Newton ..."

About the Author

Jed Z. Buchwald is Director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dibner Institute Studies in the History of Science and Technology
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (January 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262524252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262524254
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is yet another incohesive collection of essays on Newton rather arbitrarily bundled together, joining the perpetual stream of books earning the same dubious praise (a permutation of the titles among which would go unnoticed by the world). A cohesive review is thus out of the question. Nevertheless I cannot resist giving some delightful quotations from Feingold's entertaining chapter on the clash between mathematicians and naturalists in the Royal Society.

One reads with envy about the gravity attached to matters of scientific research policy at the time: "there has been much canvassing and intrigue made use of, as if the fate of the Kingdome depended on it" (p. 77). "On the eve of Newton's election as president, matters had deteriorated to such an extent that various fellows could be restrained only with difficulty from a public exchange of blows (or, in one case, the drawing of swords)" (p. 93).

So what was this conflict on which "the fate of the Kingdome" depended? The "philomats" identifying with Newton attacked the naturalists thus: "That Great Man [Newton] was sensible, that something more than knowing the Name, the Shape and obvious Qualities of an Insect, a Pebble, a Plant, or a Shell, was requisite to form a Philosopher, even of the lowest rank, much more to qualifie one to sit at the Head of so great and learned a Body." (p. 77)

The naturalists, for their part, identified with Bacon, who had complained about "the daintiness and pride of mathematicians, who will needs have this science almost domineer over Physic. For it has come to pass, I know not how, that Mathematics and Logic, which ought to be but the handmaids of Physic, nevertheless presume on the strength of the certainty which they possess to exercise dominion over it." (p.
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Great book. Ideal for students of natural philosophy of Newton and the fundamentals of mechanics.
Recomento reading and studying this book.
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