Isaac Newton (1642–1727)

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2017)
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Abstract
Isaac Newton is best known as a mathematician and physicist. He invented the calculus, discovered universal gravitation and made significant advances in theoretical and experimental optics. His master-work on gravitation, the Principia, is often hailed as the crowning achievement of the scientific revolution. His significance for philosophers, however, extends beyond the philosophical implications of his scientific discoveries. Newton was an able and subtle philosopher, working at a time when science was not yet recognized as an activity distinct from philosophy. He engaged with the work of Rene Descartes and G.W. Leibniz, and showed sensitivity to the work of John Locke, Francis Bacon, Pierre Gassendi and Henry More, to name just a few. In his time, Newton was not perceived as a scientific outsider, but as an active and knowledgeable participant in philosophical debates....
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