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Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy

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Overview

Newton studies have undergone radical changes in the last half-century as more of his work has been uncovered and more details of his life and intellectual context have come to light. This volume singles out two strands in recent Newton studies: the intellectual background to Newton's scientific thought and both specific and general aspects of his technical science. The essays make new claims concerning Newton's mathematical methods, experimental investigations, and motivations, as well as the effect that his long presence had on science in England.

The book is divided into two parts. The essays in part I shed new light on Newton's motivations and the sources of his method. The essays in part II explore Newton's mathematical philosophy and his development of rational mechanics and celestial dynamics. An appendix includes the last paper by Newton biographer Richard W. Westfall, examining some of the ways that mathematics came to be used in the age of Newton in pursuits and domains other than theoretical or rational mechanics.

Contributors: Michel Blay, J. Bruce Brackenridge, I. Bernard Cohen, Mordechai Feingold, Maurizio Mamiani, Michael Nauenberg, Alan E. Shapiro, George E. Smith, Richard W. Westfall, Curtis Wilson.

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Product Details

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Introduction
Contributors
I Motivations and Methods 1
1 To Twist the Meaning: Newton's Regulae Philosophandi Revisited 3
2 The Case of the Missing Author: The Title Page of Newton's Opticks (1704), with Notes on the Title Page of Huygens's Traite de la lumiere 15
3 Newton's Experiments on Diffraction and the Delayed Publication of the Opticks 47
4 Mathematicians and Naturalists: Sir Isaac Newton and the Royal Society 77
II Celestial Dynamics and Rational Mechanics 103
5 Newton's Mature Dynamics: A Crooked Path Made Straight 105
6 Newton on the Moon's Variation and Apsidal Motion: The Need for a Newer "New Analysis" 139
7 Newton's Perturbation Methods for the Three-Body Problem and Their Application to Lunar Motion 189
8 Force, Continuity, and the Mathematization of Motion at the End of the Seventeenth Century 225
9 The Newtonian Style in Book II of the Principia 249
App Newton on Fluid Resistance in the First Edition: English Translations of the Passages Replaced or Removed in the Second and Third Editions 299
Appendix 315
Some Recollections of Richard Samuel Westfall (1924-1996) 317
The Background to the Mathematization of Nature 321
Index 341
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