Newtonian Theology and Theory of Vision: Which Contexts for the 1704-1722 Editions of Newton’s Opticks?


  • Jean-François Baillon Universidad Michel de Montaigne


Isaac Newton, Opticks, theory of light and vision, theology, millenarianism


Newton’s Opticks was published time and again during his life. To fix a definitive version, in consequence, is problematic, so it is necessary to resort not just to the text but also to the contexts and to intertextuality. This paper set out the dif culties of the Opticks’ traditional readings (as answer to earlier theories of light and vision and as part of the British physico-theology) and argues for a theological reading, based on the epistemology of the Opticks and on the religious enthusiasm Newton categorically rejected. Consequence of this reading is a reformulation of the text, the context and the intertextuality that makes comprehensible Newton’s Opticks.

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Author Biography

Jean-François Baillon, Universidad Michel de Montaigne

Universidad Michel de Montaigne – Bordeaux 3


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How to Cite

Baillon, J.-F. (2007). Newtonian Theology and Theory of Vision: Which Contexts for the 1704-1722 Editions of Newton’s Opticks?. Estudios De Filosofía, (35), 55–66. Retrieved from



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