In this major reevaluation of Isaac Newton's intellectual life, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs shows how his pioneering work in mathematics, physics, and cosmology was intertwined with his study of alchemy. Professor Dobbs argues that to Newton those several intellectual pursuits were all ways of approaching Truth, and that Newton's primary goal was not the study of nature for its own sake but rather an attempt to establish a unified system that would have included both natural and divine principles. She also argues that Newton's methodology was much broader than modern scholars have previously supposed, and she traces the evolution of his thought on the intertwined problems of the microcosmic "vegetable spirit" of alchemy and the "cause" of the cosmic principle of gravitation.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.91(d)|
Table of ContentsList of illustrations; Acknowledgments; 1. Isaac Newton, philosopher by fire; 2. Vegetability and providence; 3. Cosmology and history; 4. Modes of divine activity in the world: before the Principia; 5. Modes of divine activity in the world: the Principia period; 6. Modes of divine activity in the world: after the Principia, 1687-1713; 7. Modes of divine activity in the world: after the Principia, 1713-1727; 8. Epilogue; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
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The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newton's Thought based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is without a doubt the best treatment of a little known, yet indispensible, aspect of Newton's thought. Most of us only know of Newton the scientist who "discovered" the law of gravity. Little do we know that this law of gravity was inextricably bound by his greater interest in alchemy. This book describes it all. The appendix is especially interesting because it contains actual alchemal texts, observations from his many experiements in alchemy. This is an engrossing read!