Contra Isaac Newton. British (natural) philosophical and poetic criticism of Newton’s natural philosophy and natural philosophical methods, 1672-c.1750

Project Details


Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was arguably one of the greatest Western scientists of all times. The spread of his scientific ideas and methods did not occur overnight and they only gradually gained acceptance. The diffusion of Newton’s ideas and methods was a very complex phenomenon, because they were oftentimes criticised by his contemporaries. Although scholars have improved our understanding of this fascinating historical process, we currently have no systematic study of the British criticism that was raised against Newton’s ideas and methods. The proposed research seeks to improve upon this situation by undertaking such study. Two different contexts will be explored. First, the researchers working on this project will study the (natural) philosophical criticism of a number of British thinkers between 1672 to c.1750. Second, the researchers will analyse the criticism of Newton’s ideas and methods by a number of British poets between 1672 to c.1750.
Effective start/end date1/03/2428/02/29

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • History of ideas
  • Philosophy not elsewhere classified
  • History not elsewhere classified


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