Certain philosophical questions: Newton's Trinity Notebook. by J. E. McGuire

By J. E. McGuire

Isaac Newton wrote the manuscript Questiones quaedam philosophicae on the very starting of his medical occupation. This small computing device therefore provides infrequent perception into the beginnings of Newton's notion and the rules of his next highbrow improvement. The Questiones includes a sequence of entries in Newton's hand that diversity over many themes in technology, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the principles of arithmetic. those notes, written in English, offer a truly special photograph of Newton's early pursuits, and checklist his serious appraisal of up to date concerns in common philosophy. Written predominantly in 1664-5, they offer an important standpoint on Newton's proposal simply ahead of his annus mirabilis, 1666. This quantity offers a whole transcription of the Questiones, including an 'expansion' into glossy English, and a whole editorial observation at the content material and value of the workstation within the improvement of Newton's suggestion. it is going to be crucial studying for all these drawn to Newton and the highbrow foundations of technological know-how.

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Furley, Two Studies in the Greek Atomisls (Princeton University Press, 1967), Chap. 1, pp. 13-14, and Chap. 5, pp. 63-77. The principle is embodied in the Epicurean argument in Diogenes’ De vitis dogmatis (the text that Newton owned, Harrison 519); see Section 15, lines 9—11 of the Letter to Herodotus, p. 280. The. commonplace is not explicit in Euclid, but it is certainly compatible with IN F IN IT Y , INDIVISIBILISM, T H E VOID 29 ton holds that a sizeless entity cannot contribute to the size of a whole, because something without size is dimensionless.

All things considered, they constitute rather more 11 Alexandre Koyre and I. : Harvard Universitv Press, 1072). , Vol. I, Definitio III, p. -10. In pointing out this connection, we are not implying that Newton formulated the principle of inertia in the (litestumes: 1’ Richard S. Westfall, Never At Rest: A Uiography of Isaac Nnctan (Cambridge University Press, 1980), Chap. 3, p. 85. 20 COM MENTARY than the fact that Newton derived certain doctrines and distinctions from his reading; in particular, his exposure to traditional thought (especially that originating in Greek cul­ ture) made a permanent contribution to his mental makeup.

27 Sanderson’s work was prescribed by the cur­ riculum as a first-year text, but its importance for Newton’s 2:1 See Whiteside, Mathematical Papers, Vol. I, Introduction, pp. 3—15. 2li See footnote 130 in Chapter 1. 27 Logicae artis, liber primus, Cap. 10, “De Praedicamento Quantitatis,” pp. 345. Newton wrote “Isaac Newton Trin Coll Cant 1661” on the verso of the title page. See Harrison 1442. This is identical with the inscription on the flyleaf of the notebook containing the Questiones. It is also interesting to observe that New­ ton wrote the Greek term auvey/ig (continuity) in the margin beside Sanderson’s discussion of continuous divisibility of quantity.

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