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The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment
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The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment

J. B. Shank

Abstract

Nothing is considered more natural than the connection between Isaac Newton's science and the modernity that came into being during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment in France. Terms like “Newtonianism” are routinely taken as synonyms for “Enlightenment” and “modern” thought, yet the particular conjunction of these terms has a history full of accidents and contingencies. Modern physics, for example, was not the determined result of the rational unfolding of Newton's scientific work in the eighteenth century, nor was the Enlightenment the natural and inevitable consequence of his eighteenth- ... More

Keywords: Isaac Newton, modernity, Enlightenment, Newtonianism, eighteenth century, public culture, scientific treatises, modern physics, philosophe, France

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226749457
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226749471.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. B. Shank, author