Philosophers at War: The Quarrel Between Newton and Leibniz

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 12, 2002 - Science - 356 pages
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Probably the most celebrated controversy in all of the history of science was that between Newton and Leibniz over the invention of the calculus. The argument ranged far beyond a mere priority dispute and took on the character of a war between two different philosophies of nature. Newton was the first to devise the methods of the calculus, but Leibniz (who independently discovered virtually identical methods) was the first to publish, in 1684. Mutual toleration passed into suspicion and, at last, denunciation of each by the other as a fraud and a plagiarist. The affair became a scandal, as British mathematicians asserted Newton's claims before the public while their Continental colleagues hotly defended Leibniz's priority. Professor Hall analyzes the situation out of which the dispute arose, the circumstances that caused it to become embittered, the dispositions of the chief actors, and the shifts in their opinions of each other.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Beginnings in Cambridge
10
Newton states his claim 1685
24
Leibniz encounters Newton 16721676
44
The emergence of the calculus 16771699
70
The outbreak 16931700
110
Open warfare 17001710
129
The philosophical debate
146
Thrust and parry 17101713
168
The dogs of war 17131715
202
War beyond death 17151722
232
Newtons Account of the Book entituled Commercium Epistolicum
261
Notes
315
Index
332
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