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Newton's Principia: The Central Argument makes the great adventure of Principia available not only to modern scholars of history of science, but also to non-specialist undergraduate students of humanities. It moves carefully from Newton's definitions and axioms through the essential propositions, as Newton himself identified them, to the establishment of universal gravitation and elliptical orbits. The guidebook unfolds what is implicit in Newton's words as he himself would have filled in the steps and completes the argument in ways that are authentic and not anachronistic, exactly following Newton's thinking rather than substituting tools of modern calculus or the formulations of modern physics. It is Newton in his own terms, allowing students to reconstruct Newton's propositions authentically. It is not a commentary or a presentation of Newton's propositions as they might appear in a modern textbook. Rather, this guidebook unfolds what is implicit in Newton's words as he would have filled in the steps, while completing the argument in ways that are not anachronistic. Newton's Principia: The Central Argument presents Newton's original text (the selections newly translated for this edition), offers notes and questions for pondering, and then expands Newton's sketched proofs step by step. Following his original proofs exactly eliminates the common confusions and misinterpretations of what Newton assumed and what he proved in the course of the development of his great work. Densmore's painstaking reconstruction of Newton's original thought processes makes this work a significant contribution to Newtonian scholarship. Most works of Newtonian scholarship from his time through the present have bypassed the difficulty of true reconstruction by translating Newton's proofs into algebra and modern calculus. This misses the essence of Newton's masterpiece (he deliberately chose not to use algebra or calculus) and sometimes leads to outright mistakes. Readers and scholars who want to know what Newton really said, as opposed to how one might prove the same things in a different way, will find the full proofs nowhere else.
Newton's Principia: The Central Argument makes the great adventure of Principia available not only to modern scholars of history of science, but also to non-specialist undergraduate students of humanities. It moves carefully from Newton's definitions and axioms through the essential propositions, as Newton himself identified them, to the establishment of universal gravitation and elliptical orbits. The guidebook unfolds what is implicit in Newton's words as he himself would have filled in the steps and completes the argument in ways that are authentic and not anachronistic, exactly following Newton's thinking rather than substituting tools of modern calculus or the formulations of modern physics. It is Newton in his own terms, allowing students to reconstruct Newton's propositions authentically. It is not a commentary or a presentation of Newton's propositions as they might appear in a modern textbook. Rather, this guidebook unfolds what is implicit in Newton's words as he would have filled in the steps, while completing the argument in ways that are not anachronistic. Newton's Principia: The Central Argument presents Newton's original text (the selections newly translated for this edition), offers notes and questions for pondering, and then expands Newton's sketched proofs step by step. Following his original proofs exactly eliminates the common confusions and misinterpretations of what Newton assumed and what he proved in the course of the development of his great work. Densmore's painstaking reconstruction of Newton's original thought processes makes this work a significant contribution to Newtonian scholarship. Most works of Newtonian scholarship from his time through the present have bypassed the difficulty of true reconstruction by translating Newton's proofs into algebra and modern calculus. This misses the essence of Newton's masterpiece (he deliberately chose not to use algebra or calculus) and sometimes leads to outright mistakes. Readers and scholars who want to know what Newton really said, as opposed to how one might prove the same things in a different way, will find the full proofs nowhere else.