A Century of Mathematics in America (History of Mathematics, by Peter Duren

By Peter Duren

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This was done by a team of engineers working in a historical context of the development of metallurgy, combustion, lubrication, etc. These are somewhat analogous to the Aristotelean formal, efficient and final causes respectively. Almost any human action that involves planning can be analyzed in this way. The idea that an event may have multiple causes, all equally valid from different points of view, is a form of pluralism,3 and should not be confused with cultural relativism. The latter is often characterized as the (absurd) statement that all beliefs of all cultural groups are equally valid, period.

Camb. Univ. Press. [5] A detailed account of the material here appears in Davies, E. B. (2009), Reflections on Newton’s ‘Principia’. British. J. Hist. Sci. 42, 211–24. [6] Cohen, I. B. and Whitman, A. (1999). Isaac Newton, The Principia, a New Translation, pp. 408, 588, 943. Berkeley. [7] A detailed discussion of the status of the rules may be found in Davies, E. B. (2003), The Newtonian myth. Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci. 34, 763–80. [8] See Davies (2003), Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci. 34. 2 The Human Condition Physics provides one type of understanding.

Most of his crucial scientific discoveries were made at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he had few close relationships and often shunned contacts with the outside world. In later life he engaged in long and bitter disputes with Flamsteed and Leibniz, and almost succeeded in writing Hooke’s existence out of the historical record. Only recently have Hooke’s many important contributions to science been recognized. Nevertheless, Newton’s Principia is one of the most amazing and important books ever to have been written.

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