- Title Pages
- Abbreviations and Conventions
- I Preliminaries
- 1 Newton on Mathematical Method: A Survey
- 2 Newton on Certainty in Optical Lectures
- 3 Descartes on Method and Certainty in the Géométrie
- II Against Cartesian Analysis and Synthesis
- 4 Against Descartes on Determinate Problems
- 5 Against Descartes on Indeterminate Problems
- 6 Beyond the Cartesian Canon: The Enumeration of Cubics
- III New Analysis and the Synthetic Method
- 7 The Method of Series
- 8 The Analytical Method of Fluxions
- 9 The Synthetic Method of Fluxions
- IV Natural Philosophy
- 10 The Principia
- 11 Hidden Common Analysis
- 12 Hidden New Analysis
- V Ancients and Moderns
- 13 Geometry and Mechanics
- 14 Analysis and Synthesis
- VI Against Leibniz
- 15 The Quarrel with Leibniz: A Brief Overview
- 16 Scribal Publication, 1672−1699
- 17 Fluxions in Print, 1700−1715
- A Brief Chronology of Newton’s Mathematical Work
- (p.234) (p.235) 10 The Principia
- Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method
- The MIT Press
This chapter explores Newton’s Principia, which is considered by most as his greatest work. It suggests that the principia were originally made as a criticism of Descartes’ Principia Philosophiae, which Newton thought to lack adequate mathematical principles. Newton derived his first law of motion, the law of inertia, from Descartes. The chapter also explores how Newton came up with the law of inertia.
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