Equivalence and Priority: Newton Versus Leibniz - Including Leibniz's Unpublished Manuscripts on the Principia

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Leibniz's dispute with Newton over the physico-mathematical theories expounded in the Principia Mathematica (1687) have long been identified as a crucial episode in the history of science. Bertolini Meli here examines several hitherto unpublished manuscripts in Leibniz's hand illustrating his first reading of and reaction to Newton's Principia. Six of the most important manuscripts are here presented for the first time. Contrary to Leibniz's own claims, this new evidence shows that he had studied Newton's masterpiece before publishing An Essay on the Causes of Celestial Motions. This article, representing his response to Newton, also included in English translation. Meli analyzes the important implications of this episode on a variety of themes ranging from priority claims to the mathematization of nature in the 17th century. Besides providing a careful study of Leibniz's style and strategy, the author examines how our perception of Newton's achievement is affected and the reception of the rival theories by the mathematical community around 1700. This unique work will interest all historians of science and philosophy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198501435
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

The Newton-Leibniz Dispute on the World System, Domenico Bertoloni
General Introduction Leibniz versus Hooke: Establishing the Code of Behavior Leibniz versus Newton: Violating the Code of Behaviour Plan of the Work and Historiograph Observations
Part One: The Background of the Newton-Leibniz Dispute
1. Astronomy and the Keplerian Program
2. Vortices and Fluids: From Gravity to Elasticity
3. Geometry and Calculus
4. Mathematical Representations of Motion and Force
Part Two: The Transformation of a Word System: From the Principia Mathematica to the Tentamen
5. The Private Itinerary
6. Publication
Part Three: The Fortunes of Leibniz's Response to Newton
7. Reflections on Leibniz's Theory and Its Development
8. A Reappraisal of Newton's Itinerary
9. The Reception of Newtonian and Leibnizian Theories Appendix One: Texts and Commentaries Appendix Two: Chronological Outline Appendix Three: List of Manuscript Sources Abbreviations Index

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