[lbo-talk] Have a happy and merry December 25

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Dec 25 05:47:17 PST 2011

Pope did a wonderful epitaph for him:

Nature & Nature's God lay hid in night; God said, let Newton be, and all was light.

Newton was also personally vengeful; I think he not only wanted to disprove Leibnitz's priority in 'inventint' calculus, he wanted to utterly humiliate him.


-----Original Message----- From: lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org [mailto:lbo-talk-bounces at lbo-talk.org] On Behalf Of Michael Smith Sent: Sunday, December 25, 2011 1:36 AM To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] Have a happy and merry December 25

On Sun, 25 Dec 2011 05:24:17 +0000 (UTC) 123hop at comcast.net wrote:

> Actually, he was a bit of a nutter.

Really? He was quite religious, certainly, in his own odd way. And he thought there was something to alchemy. Is that what you're thinking of?

To be sure, he was a hard-money man. Certainly the least attractive trait in an otherwise fascinating character.

There's a nice 18th-century statue of old Isaac in the antechapel of Trinity College, Cambridge. Wordsworth (who was a student at the neighboring and less grand St John's college) could see it from his window:

---------- And from my pillow, looking forth by light Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold The antechapel where the statue stood Of Newton with his prism and silent face, The marble image of a mind for ever Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone. -----------

By all means let's hoist a glass to Isaac. Perhaps he couldn't have been so brilliant if he hadn't been so nutty. Considered in the round, he doesn't seem a very Hitchens-esque or Dawkinsonian figure.

-- --

Michael J. Smith mjs at smithbowen.net

http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org http://www.cars-suck.org http://fakesprogress.blogspot.com

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