Commentary on Newton's <i>Principia</i>

in Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226168067
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226168081 | DOI:
Commentary on Newton's Principia

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This chapter presents a set of selections from Marquise Du Châtelet's scientific writings that constitute the first section of her Commentary on Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. Some have speculated that this “Brief Exposition” was intended originally as volume two of Du Châtelet's Institutions. This may be so; in any case, when Du Châtelet returned to her studies in mathematics and physics in the 1740s, she had decided to undertake a much more ambitious task: translation of the Principia itself. Her translation remains the only complete rendition into French, and the only one in any language that the Newtonian expert, I. Bernard Cohen, acknowledged as a guide in his own English version of this influential work. The chapter also includes Du Châtelet's letters to Father François Jacquier and to Jean-François de Saint-Lambert.

Keywords: Marquise Du Châtelet; Isaac Newton; Principia Mathematica; Du Châtelet's letters; mathematics; physics; translation; François Jacquier; Saint-Lambert

Chapter.  38944 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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