‘On ye Shoulders of Giants’
Since the Middle Ages learned men used the parable of the dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants to honour ‘the ancients’ and (in the main) to play down their own role in all (false) modesty. This specific understatement surely was also Newton’s intention. We should ask anyway: on whose shoulders did Leibniz and Newton actually stand? Which preliminary works were already there for the two men to build upon?
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