Isaac Newton: Science and Religion in the Unity of his Thought
Keywords:Natural philosophy, Science, Religion, Theology, Alchemy
One of the main reasons for the success of Newton’s Natural Philosophy was the role that it played in the development of a valuable Natural Theology. Besides, Newton himself published the theological implications of his own Natural Philosophy. Although in the first edition of the Principia there is no sign of God, for the second edition (1713) Newton introduced a “General Scholium” in which he explicitly discussed the relation between God and His Creation. Newton`s obsession with the interpretation of Scriptures was for some time disregarded as awkward. Nonetheless, its importance for adequately understanding Newton is now accepted and it stimulates a lot of new activity on behalf of the specialists. This paper enables one to see at present the nucleus of the question posed by Richard H. Popkin: “Why one of the leading anti-Trinitarian theologians committed himself to writing works on Natural Philosophy, such as the Principia Mathematica?”
ALEXANDER, H. G. (ed.). The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 1956.
BENTLEY, R. A Confutation of Atheism from the Origin and Frame of the World. London, 1693, Part II, pp. 28-30. Reimpreso en: Newton, I. Papers & Letters on Natural Philosophy, pp. 340-2.
BIRCH, T. History of the Royal Society of London, 4 vols. A. Millar, London, 1757.
BOYLE, R. Works, 5 vols. London, 1744, 1, pp. 70-3, reimpreso en: Cohen, I.B. (ed.). Isaac Newton’s Papers and Letters, pp. 250-54.
BREWSTER, D. Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, 2 vols. Edinburgh, II, 1855.
CAMBRIDGE University Library, MS. Add. 3970, fols. 652-3, impreso en: Hall, A. R. & Hall, M. B. Unpublished Scientific Papers, pp. 214-28.
CASINI, P. “Newton: the classical scholia”, History of Science, XXII, 1984, pp.1 – 58.
CASTILLEJO, D. The Expanding Force in Newton’s Cosmos as Shown in His Unpublished Papers. Ediciones de Arte y Bibliofilia, Madrid,1981.
COHEN I. B. & SMITH G.E. (eds.). The Cambridge Companion to Newton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002.
COPÉRNICO, N. De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Nuremberg, 1543.
DELGADO-MOREIRA, R. “Newton’s Treatise on Revelation: The Use of a Mathematical Discourse”, Historical Research, 79, 2006, p.p. 224-246
DISALLE, R. “Newton’s Philosophical Analysis of Space and Time”, en: Cohen y Smith (eds.). Cambridge Companion to Newton, pp. 33-56.
DOBBS, B. J. T. The Foundations of Newton’s Alchemy: Or, ‘The Hunting of the Greene Lyon’. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1975.
DOBBS, B. J. T. The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newton’s Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991.
DUCHEYNE, S. “The General Scholium: Some Notes on Newton’s Published and Unpublished Endeavours”. Lias: Sources and Documents Relating to the Early Modern History of Ideas, vol. 2, 2006, 47 pp.
FIGALA, K. “Newton’s Alchemy”, en: Cohen, J.B. & Smith, G.E. (eds.). Cambridge Companion to Newton, pp. 370-86.
FIRTH, K. R. The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, 1530-1645. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979.
FORCE, J. E. “Newton’s God of Dominion: The Unity of Newton’s Theological, Scientific, and Political Thought”, en: Force, J. E. & Popkin, R.H. (eds.), 1990.
FORCE, J. E. & POPKIN, R. H. Essays on the Context, Nature, and Influence of Isaac Newton’s Theology. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1990.
FORCE, J. E. & Popkin, R. H. (eds.). Newton and Religion: Context, Nature and Influence. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1999.
FORCE, J. E. & POPKIN, R. H. (eds.). The Books of Nature and Scripture. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1994.
GABBEY, A. “Newton, Active Powers, and the Mechanical Philosophy”, en: Cohen, I. B. y Smith, G. E. (eds.). Cambridge Companion to Newton, pp. 329-57.
GABBEY, A & GARBER, D. et al. “New Doctrines of Body and Its Powers, Place and Space”, en: Ayers, M. & Garber, D. (eds.). The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, 2 vols.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, 1, pp. 553-623.
GAL, O. Meanest Foundations and Nobler Superstructures: Hooke, Newton and the “Compounding of the Celestial Motions of the Planets”. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 2002.
HALL, A. R. & HALL, M. B. Unpublished Scientific Papers of Isaac Newton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,1962.
HARRISON, P. “Was Newton a Voluntarist?”, en: Force and Hutton (eds.). Newton and Newtonianism, pp. 39-64.
HENRY, J. “Henry More versus Robert Boyle: The Spirit of Nature and the Nature of Providence”, en: Hutton, S. (ed.). Henry More (1614-1687): Tercentenary Studies. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1990, pp. 55-76.
ILIFFE, R. “Abstract considerations: Disciplines, Audiences and the Incoherence of Newton’s Natural Philosophy,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 35, 2004, p.p. 427-54.
ILIFFE, R. “‘Making a Shew’: Apocalyptic Hermeneutics and the Sociology of Christian Idolatry in the Work of Isaac Newton and Henry More”, en: Force, J. & Popkin, R. (eds.). Books of Nature and Scripture, pp. 55-88.
KOYRÉ, A. From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1957.
MANUEL, Frank E. A Portrait of Isaac Newton. Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1968.
MANUEL, Frank E. The Religion of Isaac Newton. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1973.
MCGUIRE, J. E. “Force, Active Principles and Newton’s Invisible Realm”. Ambix, 15, 1968, pp. 154-208.
MCGUIRE, J. E. “The Fate of the Date: The Theology of Newton’s Principia Revisited”, en: Osler, M. (ed.). Rethinking the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000, pp. 271-95.
MCGUIRE, J. E. Tradition and Innovation: Newton’s Metaphysics of Nature. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1995.
MCGUIRE, J. E. & Rattansi, P. M. “Newton y las ‘ autas de Pan”. Estudios de Filosofía, 35, 2007, pp. 149-87.
MCGUIRE J. E. & TAMNY, M. Certain Philosophical Questions: Newton’s Trinity Notebook. Cambrdige University Press, Cambrdige, 1983.
MEYERSON, E. “Leibniz, Newton, and Action at a Distance”, en: MEYERSON, E. Identity and Reality. George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London: 1930, pp. 447-56.
NEWMAN, W. “The Background to Newton’s Chymistry”, en: Cohen, J.B. & Smith, G.E. (eds.). Cambridge Companion to Newton, pp. 358-69.
NEWTON, I. A Short Schem of the True Religion. Keynesms. 7, King’s College, Cambridge, impreso en: Cohen I. B. & Westfall, R. S. (eds.). Newton, Texts, Backgrounds, Commentaries. W. W. Norton, New York, 1995, pp. 344-8
NEWTON, I. De mundi systemate, London, 1728.
NEWTON, I. Four Letters from Sir Isaac Newton to Doctor Bentley. London, 1756, pp. 3, 8. Reimpresas en: Cohen, I.B. (ed.). Isaac Newton’s Papers and Letters on Natural Philosophy. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
NEWTON, I. Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, In two parts. Printed by J. Darby and T. Browne in Bartholomew- Close. And sold by J. Roberts in Warwicklane, J. Tonson in the Strand, W. Innys and R. Manby at the West End of St. Paul’s Church-Yard, J. Osborn and T. Ungman in Pater-Noster-Row, J. Noon near Merces Chapel in Cheapside, T. Hatchett at the Royal Exchange, S. Harding in St. Martin’s lane, J. Stagg in Westminster-Hall, J. Parker in Pall-mall, and J. Brindley in New Bond-street, London, 1773.
NEWTON, I. Opticks, or a Treatise of the Re ections, Refractions, In ections and Colours of Light. Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1979.
NEWTON, I. The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Trad. de Cohen, I.B. y Whitman, A. University of California Press, Berkeley/Los Angeles/ London, 1999.
POPKIN, R.H. “Newton’s Biblical Theology and His Theological Physics”, en: Scheurer, P.B. & Debrock, B. (eds.). Newton’s Scientific and Philosophical Legacy. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1988, pp. 81-97, p. 81.
PRINCIPE, L. M. “Reflections on Newton’s Alchemy in Light of the New Historiography of Alchemy”, en: Force J. E. y Hutton S. (eds.). Newton and Newtonianism: New Studies. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 2004, pp. 205-20.
RATTANSI, P. M. “Newton’s Alchemical Studies”, en: Debus (ed.). Science, Medicine and Society in the Renaissance, II, pp. 167-82.
SCHüLER, V. “Newton’s Scholia from David Gregory’s Estate on the Propositions IV through In Book III of his Principia”, en: W. Lefevre (ed.). Between Leibniz, Newton, and Kant. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 2001, pp. 213-65.
SNOBELEN, S. “God of Gods, and Lord of Lords”: The Theology of Isaac Newton’s General Scholium to the Principia”. Osiris, 16, 2001, p.p. 169-208.
SNOBELEN, S. “Isaac Newton, Heretic: The Strategies of a Nicodemite”. The British Journal for the History of Science, 32 ,1999, pp. 381-419.
SNOBELEN, S. “Isaac Newton, Socinianism and ‘the one supreme God’”, en: Mulsow, M y Rohls, J (eds.). Socinianism and Cultural Exchange: The European Dimension of Antitrinitarian and Arminian Networks, 1650-1720. Brill, Leiden, 2005, pp. 241-293.
SNOBELEN, S. “To Discourse of God: Isaac Newton’s Heterodox Theology and His Natural Philosophy”, en Wood, P.B. (ed.). Science and Dissent in England, 1688-1945. Ashgate, Aldershot, Hampshire, 2004, pp. 39-65.
STEINLE, F. Newtons Entwurf “Über die Gravitation...”:Ein Stück Entwicklungsgeschichte seiner Mechanik. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 1991.
STEWART, L. “Seeing through the Scholium: Religion and Reading Newton in the Eighteenth Century”, History of Science, 34, 1996, pp. 123-65.
VAILATI, E. Leibniz and Clarke: A Study of Their Correspondence. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997.
WALKER, D. P. The Ancient Theology. Duckworth, London, 1972.
WESTFALL, R. S. Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1980.
WESTFALL, R. S. “Newton and Alchemy”, en: Vickers, B. (ed.). Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984, pp. 315-35.
WESTFALL, R. S “Newton and Christianity”, en: Frank T. Birtel (ed.), Religion, Science and Public Policy, Crossroads, New York,1987, pp. 79-94. Reimpreso en: Cohen, I.B. & Westfall, R.S. (eds.). Newton, Texts, Backgrounds, Commentaries. W. W. Norton, New York, 1995, pp. 356-70.
WESTFALL, R. S. “Newton and the Hermetic Tradition”, en: Allen G. Debus (ed.). Science, Medicine and Society in the Renaissance, 2 vols. Heinemann, London, 1972, II, pp. 183-98.
WESTFALL, R. S. “Newton’s Theological Manuscripts”, en: Bechler, Z. (ed.). Contemporary Newtonian Research. D. Reidel, 1982, p. 131.
WESTFALL, R. S. Science and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1958.
WESTFALL, R. S. “The Rise of Science and the Decline of Orthodox Christianity: A Study of Kepler, Descartes, and Newton”. En: Lindberg, D.C. & Numbers, R.L. (eds.). God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1986, pp. 218-37.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term "Work" shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
2. Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher a nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercia-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions: (a) Attribution: Other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;(b) Noncommercial: Other users (including Publisher) may not use this Work for commercial purposes;
4. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal;
5. Authors are permitted, and Estudios de Filosofía promotes, to post online the preprint manuscript of the Work in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access). Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work is expected be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Estudios de Filosofía's assigned URL to the Article and its final published version in Estudios de Filosofía.