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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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Beyond the Cartesian Canon: The Enumeration of Cubics

Beyond the Cartesian Canon: The Enumeration of Cubics

(p.108) (p.109) 6 Beyond the Cartesian Canon: The Enumeration of Cubics
Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method

Niccolò Guicciardini

The MIT Press

This chapter explores Newton’s first attempts in explaining cubic curves in his work Enumeratio Linearum Tetrii Ordinis. It then notes his point of focus in the different sections of Enumeratio. Newton’s approach to cubic curves departed from the traditional model of problem solving of the ancients, which he refers to as his model. In the traditional Greek thought, curves are mainly perceived as means to a construction, and not a point of detailed research. The chapter suggests that it is possible that Newton drew inspiration from Descartes, Jan de Witt, and John Wallis in his study of cubic curves.

Keywords:   Newton, Enumeratio, cubic curves

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