Reading Newton in Early Modern Europe investigates how Sir Isaac Newton’s
Principia was read, interpreted and remodelled for a variety of readerships in eighteenth-century Europe. The editors, Mordechai Feingold and Elizabethanne Boran, have brought together papers which explore how, when, where and why the
Principia was appropriated by readers in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, England and Ireland. Particular focus is laid on the methods of transmission of Newtonian ideas via university textbooks and popular works written for educated laymen and women. At the same time, challenges to the Newtonian consensus are explored by writers such as Marius Stan and Catherine Abou-Nemeh who examine Cartesian and Leibnizian responses to the
Principia. Eighteenth-century attempts to remodel Newton as a heretic are explored by Feingold, while William R. Newman draws attention to vital new sources highlighting the importance of alchemy to Newton.
Contributors are: Catherine Abou-Nemeh, Claudia Addabbo, Elizabethanne Boran, Steffen Ducheyne, Moredechai Feingold, Sarah Hutton, Juan Navarro-Loidi, William R. Newman, Luc Peterschmitt, Anna Marie Roos, Marius Stan, and Gerhard Wiesenfeldt.
Elizabethanne Boran, Ph. D. (1996), Trinity College, Dublin, is Librarian of the Edward Worth Library, Dublin. She is the editor of
The Correspondence of James Ussher, 1600-1656, 3 vols (Dublin, 2015) and
Aldines at the Edward Worth Library (Dublin, 2015).
Mordechai Feingold is Professor of History at Caltech. He is the editor of the journals
Erudition and the republic of Letters (Brill) and
History of Universities (Oxford). He is the author of a number of books, including
The Mathematicians’ Apprenticeship: Science, Universities and Society in England, 1560-1640 (1984);
The Newtonian Moment: Isaac Newton and the Making of Modern Culture (2004); and
Newton and the Origin of Civilization (2013), written with Jed Buchwald.
“This is a well-balanced collection that will be of great value to Newtonian scholars. Summing up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty.”
M. Dickinson, Maine Maritime Academy. In:
Choice Connect, Vol. 55, No. 5 (January 2018).
Table of contents
List of Contributors
Introduction Elizabethanne Boran
Part 1: Introducing Newton
The Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in Naples Claudia Addabbo 3
Newton and the Spanish Artillerymen Juan Navarro Loidi 4
The Practical Tradition of Dutch Newtonianism Gerhard Wiesenfeldt 5
Science for Ladies? Elizabeth Carter’s Translation of Algarotti and “popular” Newtonianism in the Eighteenth Century Sarah Hutton 6
Irish Newtonian Physicians and Their Arguments: The Case of Bryan Robinson A.M. Roos, Ph.D., F.L.S., F.S.A.
Part 2: Challenging Newton
Controversies over Comets: Isaac Newton, Nicolas Hartsoeker, and Early Modern World-making Catherine Abou-Nemeh 8
’s Gravesande’s and Van Musschenbroek’s Appropriation of Newton’s Methodological Ideas Steffen Ducheyne 9
Newton’s Concepts of Force among the Leibnizians Marius Stan 10
How Did Berkeley Read Newton? Luc Peterschmitt
Part 3: Remodelling Newton
Newton’s Reputation as an Alchemist and the Tradition of Chymiatria William R. Newman 12
Isaac Newton, Heretic? Some Eighteenth-Century Perceptions Mordechai Feingold
All interested in the reception of Sir Isaac Newton’s
Principia in Early Modern Europe and how science was communicated to academic and popular audiences in the eighteenth century.