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Newton's Principia: The Mathematical Principals of Natural Philosophy


Author: Sir Isaac Newton; Translated into English by Andrew Motte

Publisher: Daniel Adee

Year Printed: 1848

Edition: First - Original binding was replaced.

Printing: First American Edition

Condition: Very Good

eBook: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

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Pages: 581

Height: 9.2 inches

Width: 6 inches

Notes: This is a beautiful book. The Principia is justly regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science. From Wikipedia: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy", often referred to as simply the Principia, is a work in three books by Sir Isaac Newton, in Latin, first published 5 July 1687. After annotating and correcting his personal copy of the first edition, Newton also published two further editions, in 1713 and 1726. The Principia states Newton's laws of motion, forming the foundation of classical mechanics, also Newton's law of universal gravitation, and a derivation of Kepler's laws of planetary motion, which Kepler first obtained empirically.

The French mathematical physicist Alexis Clairaut assessed it in 1747: "The famous book of mathematical Principles of natural Philosophy marked the epoch of a great revolution in physics. The method followed by its illustrious author Sir Newton ... spread the light of mathematics on a science which up to then had remained in the darkness of conjectures and hypotheses." A more recent assessment has been that while acceptance of Newton's theories was not immediate, by the end of a century after publication in 1687, "no one could deny that" (out of the Principia) "a science had emerged that, at least in certain respects, so far exceeded anything that had ever gone before that it stood alone as the ultimate exemplar of science generally." 

In formulating his physical theories, Newton developed and used mathematical methods now included in the field of calculus. But the language of calculus as we know it was largely absent from the Principia; Newton gave many of his proofs in a geometric form of infinitesimal calculus, based on limits of ratios of vanishing small geometric quantities. In a revised conclusion to the Principia (see General Scholium), Newton used his expression that became famous, Hypotheses non fingo ("I contrive no hypotheses").

Hypotheses non fingo (Latin for "I feign no hypotheses,"

Quotes: Hypotheses non fingo - "I contrive no hypotheses" or "I frame no hypotheses," or "I contrive no hypotheses") is a famous phrase used by Isaac Newton in an essay, General Scholium, which was appended to the second (1713) edition of the Principia.

Here is a modern translation (published 1999) of the passage containing this famous remark:

I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.

The nineteenth century philosopher of science, William Whewell, qualified this statement, as, he said, "it was by such a use of hypotheses, that both Newton himself and Kepler, on whose discoveries those of Newton were based, made their discoveries".

"What is requisite is, that the hypotheses should be close to the facts, and not connected with them by other arbitrary and untried facts; and that the philosopher should be ready to resign it as soon as the facts refuse to confirm it."

Source: Wikipedia