Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Newton and Empiricism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Zvi Biener and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337095.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 April 2018

Constructing Natural Historical Facts

Constructing Natural Historical Facts

Baconian Natural History in Newton’s First Paper on Light and Colors

Chapter:
(p.39) 2 Constructing Natural Historical Facts
Source:
Newton and Empiricism
Author(s):

Dana Jalobeanu

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337095.003.0003

Newton’s first published paper on light and colors begins with a Baconian ’historical narration’ about the context, origin, methodology, and development of the experimentum crucis. This chapter explores elements of Bacon’s method of natural history at play in Newton’s paper. The chapter shows that the construction of Newton’s paper follows Baconian rules for the writing of natural history, while his development of experiments and construction of facts have features of the Baconian experientia literata. This involves a historical reconstruction and philosophical interpretation of the methodology and theoretical structure of Bacon’s Latin natural histories, particularly Historia densi et rari, Historia vitae et mortis, and Sylva sylvarum. The chapter then explores the debate around Newton’s theory of light and colors, showing ways in which Newton’s opponents read his first paper as an exercise of Baconian natural history.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, experimentum crucis, natural history, experiment, experientia literata

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .