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Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method$
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Niccolo Guicciardini

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013178

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013178.001.0001

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Newton on Mathematical Method: A Survey

Newton on Mathematical Method: A Survey

(p.2) (p.3) 1 Newton on Mathematical Method: A Survey
Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method

Niccolò Guicciardini

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a survey of Isaac Newton’s mathematical work and the development of his theories on the mathematical method that began to mature. It explores Newton’s early influences in the field of mathematics, such as Isaac Barrow and Descartes, and then outlines the first steps in his quest for mathematical mastery. The chapter also details Newton’s encounter with the problem of drawing tangents to plane curves and explores his discovery of the fluxions in the mid-1600s. It also briefly explores Newton’s mathematical maturity when he was elected as the Lucasian Professor at Cambridge University, succeeding Isaac Barrow, in which he discussed and claimed that certainty in natural philosophy can be attained through the use of geometry.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, mathematics, geometry, fluxions, certainty

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