Advertisement

Beyond Priority

  • Francesco G. Sacco
Chapter
  • 5 Downloads
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 231)

Abstract

On August 28, 1686, the manuscript of Newton’s Principia was presented to the Royal Society. The book was dedicated to the Society, and the fellows “were so very sensible of the Great Honour” that they considered printing the book at the Society’s expenses. According to Halley’s account, one fellow was less enthusiast than others about that “incomparable treatise.” “Mr Hooke,” Halley wrote to Newton, “has some pretentions upon the inventions of ye rule of the decrease of Gravity, being the square of the distances from the Center.” A controversy between the two men soon sparked. Hooke, on the one hand, acknowledged that only Newton successfully demonstrated how gravity leads to the elliptic orbits of planets. He claimed that Newton adopted “the notion” of the inverse square law from him, and expected to be mentioned in the preface of that “incomparable treatise.” Newton, on the other hand, refused that claim altogether. He countered that he knew the inverse square law long before he discussed it with Hooke, who probably had it from Wren and Borelli. For this reason, his name was mentioned in the System of the World along those of the other two scholars. Newton would concede nothing more.

Bibliography

  1. Aiton, Eric. 1972. The vortex theory of planetary motion. London: Mcdonald.Google Scholar
  2. Applebaum, Wilbur. 1996. Keplerian astronomy after Kepler. History of Science 34: 451–504.Google Scholar
  3. Bennett, Jim. 1989. Magnetical philosophy and astronomy from Wilkins to Hooke. In Planetary astronomy from the renaissance to the rise of astrophysics, part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton, ed. R. Taton and C. Wilson, 222–230. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bertoloni Meli, Domenico. 2005. Who is afraid of centrifugal force? Early Science and Medicine 10: 535–541.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2006a. Thinking with objects: The transformation of mechanics in the seventeenth century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. ———. 2006b. Inherent and centrifugal forces in Newton. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 60: 319–335.Google Scholar
  7. Birch, Thomas. 1756–1957. The history of the Royal Society of London, 4 vols. London.Google Scholar
  8. Boas, Marie. 1952. The establishment of the mechanical philosophy. Osiris 10: 412–541.Google Scholar
  9. Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso. 1666. Theoricae mediceorum planetarum. Florence: Ex Typographia S.M.D.Google Scholar
  10. Boulliau, Ismaël. 1645. Astronomia philolaica. Paris: Simeonis Piget.Google Scholar
  11. Casini, Paolo. 1997. “Magis amica veritas”: Newton e Descartes. Rivista di filosofia 88: 197–221.Google Scholar
  12. Ducheyne, Steffen. 2012. The main business of natural philosophy: Isaac Newton’s natural philosophical methodology. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 2014. Newton on action at a distance. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52: 675–701.Google Scholar
  14. Erlichson, Herman. 1997. Hooke’s September 1685 ellipse vertices construction and Newton’s instantaneous impulse construction. Historia Mathematica 24: 167–184.Google Scholar
  15. Fiocca, Alessandra. 1998. The southern deviation of freely falling bodies: From Robert Hooke’s hypothesis to Edwin Hall’s experiment (1679–1902). Physis 35: 51–83.Google Scholar
  16. Gal, Ofer. 2002. Meanest foundations and nobler superstructures: Hooke, Newton and the “compounding of the celestial motions of the planetts”. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2005. The invention of celestial mechanics. Early Science and Medicine 10: 529–534.Google Scholar
  18. Gal, Ofer, and Raz Chen-Morris. 2005. The archaeology of the inverse square law: (1) metaphysical images and mathematical practices. History of Science 43: 391–414.Google Scholar
  19. ———. 2006. The archaeology of the inverse square law: (2) the use and non-use of mathematics. History of Science 44: 49–67.Google Scholar
  20. Guerlac, Henry. 1967. Newton’s optical aether. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 22: 45–57.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 1977. Essays and papers in the history of modern science. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Guicciardini, Niccolò. 1998. Newton: un filosofo della natura e il sistema del mondo. Milan: Le Scienze.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 2005. Reconsidering the Hooke-Newton debate on gravitation: Recent results. Early Science and Medicine 10: 511–517.Google Scholar
  24. ———. 2009. Isaac Newton on mathematical certainty and method. Cambridge, MA/London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Guicciardini, Niccoló. 2011. Newton. Rome: Carocci.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2018. Isaac Newton and natural philosophy. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar
  27. Hall, Alfred Rupert. 1998. Isaac Newton and the aerial nitre. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 52: 51–61.Google Scholar
  28. Hauksbee, Francis. 1706–07. An experiment made at Gresham College. Philosophical Transactions 25: 2223–2224.Google Scholar
  29. ———. 1709. Physico-mechanical experiments on various subjects. London: Printed by R. Brugis.Google Scholar
  30. ———. 1719. Physico-mechanical experiments on various subjects. London: Printed for J. Senex; and W. Taylor.Google Scholar
  31. Heilbron, John. 1979. Electricity in the 17th and 18th centuries. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  32. Henry, John. 1986. Occult qualities and the experimental philosophy: Active principles in pre-Newtonian matter theory. History of Science 24: 335–381.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1989. Robert Hooke, the incongruous mechanist. In Robert Hooke: New studies, ed. Michael Hunter and Simon Schaffer, 149–180. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 1992. The scientific revolution in England. In The scientific revolution in national context, ed. Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich, 178–209. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  35. ———. 2011. Gravity and De gravitatione: The development of Newton’s ideas on action at a distance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42: 11–27.Google Scholar
  36. Home, Roderick. 1981. The effluvial theory of electricity. New York: Arno Press.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 1985. Force, electricity, and the powers of the living matter in Newton’s mature philosophy of nature. In Religion, science and worldview: Essays in honor of Richard S. Westfall, ed. Margaret Osler and Paul Lawrence Farber, 95–117. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 1993. Newton’s subtle matter: The Opticks queries and the mechanical philosophy. In Renaissance and revolution: Humanists, scholars, craftsmen and natural philosophers in early modern Europe, ed. J.V. Field and Frank A. James, 193–202. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Hooke, Robert. 1674. An attempt to prove the motion of the earth by observations. London.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1705. Posthumous works, ed. Richard Waller. London.Google Scholar
  41. Huygens, Christiaan. 1888–1950. Oeuvres completes, 22 vols., ed. Société hollandaise des sciences. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  42. Janiak, Andrew. 2008. Newton as philosopher. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Kochiras, Hylarie. 2008. Force, matter, and metaphysics in Newton’s natural philosophy. Phd Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  44. ———. 2009. Gravity and Newton’s substance counting problem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40: 267–280.Google Scholar
  45. Koyré, Alexandre. 1968. Newtonian studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  46. Lohne, Johs. 1960. Hooke versus Newton: An analysis of the documents in the case of free fall and planetary motion. Centaurus 7: 6–52.Google Scholar
  47. Machamer, Peter, J.E. McGuire, and Hylarie Kochiras. 2012. Newton and the mechanical philosophy: Gravitation as the balance of the heavens. The Southern Journal of Philosophy 50: 370–388.Google Scholar
  48. Mamiani, Maurizio, and Emanuela Trucco. 1991. Newton e i fenomeni della vita. Nuncius 6: 69–96.Google Scholar
  49. Nauenberg, Michael. 1994. Hooke, orbital motion and Newton’s Principia. American Journal of Physics 62: 331–350.Google Scholar
  50. ———. 1998. On Hooke’s 1685 manuscript on orbital mechanics. Historia Mathematica 25: 89–93.Google Scholar
  51. ———. 2005. Hooke’s and Newton’s contributions to the early development of orbital dynamics and the theory of universal gravitation. Early Science and Medicine 10: 518–528.Google Scholar
  52. ———. 2006. Robert Hooke’s seminal contribution to orbital dynamics. In Robert Hooke: Tercentennial studies, ed. Michael Cooper and Michael Hunter, 3–32. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  53. Newton, Isaac. 1779–85. Opera quae extant omnia, 5 vols., ed. Samuel Horsley, London.Google Scholar
  54. ———. 1959–77. The correspondence of Isaac Newton, 7 vols., ed. H. W. Turnbull, J. F. Scott, A. R. Hall and L. Tilling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. ———. 1962. In Unpublished scientific papers, ed. Alfred Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. ———. 1999. In The Principia: Mathematical principles of natural philosophy, ed. I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  57. Patterson, Louise Diehl. 1949. Hooke’s gravitation theory and its influence on Newton I: Hooke’s gravitation theory. Isis 40: 327–341.Google Scholar
  58. ———. 1950. Hooke’s gravitation theory and its influence on Newton II: The insufficiency of the traditional estimate. Isis 41: 32–45.Google Scholar
  59. Pugliese, Patri. 1989. Robert Hooke and the dynamics of motion in a curved path. In Robert Hooke: New studies, ed. Michael Hunter and Simon Schaffer, 181–205. Woodbridge: Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  60. Ruffner, James. 2000. Newton’s propositions on comets: Steps in transition, 1681–1684. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 54: 259–277.Google Scholar
  61. Schofield, Robert. 1970. Mechanism and materialism: British natural philosophy in the age of reason. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Van Helden, Albert. 1974. The telescope in the seventeenth century. Isis 65: 38–58.Google Scholar
  63. Westfall, Richard. 1970. Uneasy fitful reflections on fits of easy transmission. In The annus mirabilis of Isaac Newton 1666–1966, ed. Robert Palter, 88–104. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  64. ———. 1971. Force in Newton’s physics: The science of dynamics in the seventeenth century. New York: American Elsevier.Google Scholar
  65. ———. 1972a. Circular motion in the seventeenth mechanics. Isis 63: 184–190.Google Scholar
  66. ———. 1972b. Robert Hooke (1635–1703). In Dictionary of scientific biography, ed. Charles Gillispie, vol. VI, 481–488. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  67. ———. 1983. Never at rest: A biography of Isaac Newton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Whiteside, Derek. 1970. Before the Principia: The maturing of Newon’s thoughts on dynamical astronomy, 1664–1684. Journal for the History of Astronomy 1: 5–19.Google Scholar
  69. ———. 1991. The prehistory of the Principia from 1664 to 1686. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 54: 11–61.Google Scholar
  70. Wilson, Curtis. 1970. From Kepler’s laws, so-called, to universal gravitation: Empirical factors. Archive for History of Exact Sciences 6: 89–170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco G. Sacco
    • 1
  1. 1.Humanities DepartmentCATS CollegeCanterburyUK

Personalised recommendations