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Pilot Lecture: The Rise of Newtonian Physics

Explore the decisive scientific debates about the essence of matter that would establish Newton as a world-striding figure—though with unexpected consequences for how we think about his legacy and ideas.
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Overview

By the start of the 1700s, Isaac Newton commanded almost complete loyalty from anyone interested in mathematics or philosophy. By the end of the century, his ideas would become synonymous with science. How exactly did Newton triumph over other systems of thought? In The Rise of Newtonian Physics, explore the decisive clash between Newton and his decades-long rival, the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. While their struggles began in the field of mathematics, they culminated in extraordinary arguments about the essence of matter, the freedom of free will, the best form of government, and, in the end, the very nature of God. You’ll learn how the resolution of these debates would establish Newton as a world-striding figure—though with unexpected consequences for how we think about his legacy and ideas.
The Rise of Newtonian Physics

01: The Rise of Newtonian Physics

How exactly did Isaac Newton’s ideas about life and the universe triumph over other systems of thought? Explore the decisive scientific debates about the essence of matter that would establish Newton as a world-striding figure—though with unexpected consequences for how we think about his legacy and ideas.

22 min