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Newton's Influence on Modern Geometry

Nature volume 42, pages 139142 | Download Citation



IN the appendix to his “Arithmetica Universalis” Newton states that a study of the ancient philosophers had led him to the inevitable conclusion that those early pioneers of science had introduced geometry in order to escape from needlessly long and laborious calculations. So, too, the author of the “Principia” had a predilection for graphic as distinguished from analytic methods. Indeed, anyone who has perused that great work will readily endorse the truth of this assertion. Yet Newton was born some forty years after the death of Viete and only eight before that of Renè Descartes, whose writings gave such a wondrous impulse to analytical studies.

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