The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newtons Thought by Betty Jo Teeter DobbsThe Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newtons Thought by Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs

The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newtons Thought

byBetty Jo Teeter Dobbs

Paperback | August 22, 2002

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In this major reevaluation of Isaac Newton's intellectual life, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs shows how his pioneering work in mathematics, physics, and cosmology was intertwined with his study of alchemy. Professor Dobbs argues that to Newton those several intellectual pursuits were all ways of approaching Truth, and that Newton's primary goal was not the study of nature for its own sake but rather an attempt to establish a unified system that would have included both natural and divine principles. She also argues that Newton's methodology was much broader than modern scholars have previously supposed, and she traces the evolution of his thought on the intertwined problems of the microcosmic "vegetable spirit" of alchemy and the "cause" of the cosmic principle of gravitation.
Title:The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newtons ThoughtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:376 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.83 inPublished:August 22, 2002Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521524873

ISBN - 13:9780521524872

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgments; 1. Isaac Newton, philosopher by fire; 2. Vegetability and providence; 3. Cosmology and history; 4. Modes of divine activity in the world: before the Principia; 5. Modes of divine activity in the world: the Principia period; 6. Modes of divine activity in the world: after the Principia, 1687-1713; 7. Modes of divine activity in the world: after the Principia, 1713-1727; 8. Epilogue; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Dobbs's achievement is to make the unity of Newton's many different studies, when viewed within the integrating framework of alchemy, not only evident but obvious; I know of no more thorough or learned treatment of her subject." Tracy Fessenden, History of Religions