David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Perspectives on Science 16 (4):pp. 328-359 (2008)
While Newton tried to make his telescope into a proof of the supremacy of his theory of colours over older theories, his instrument was welcomed as a way to shorten telescopes, not as a way to solve the problem of chromatic aberration. This paper argues that the image published together with the report on Newton’s telescope in Philosophical Transactions (1672) encouraged this reception. The differences between this visualization and other images of Newton’s telescope, especially that published in Opticks (1704), are discussed. This paper shows that the image in Opticks adopted characteristics of a Cartesian program of visualization of machines and instruments which complemented a rhetoric which attributed primacy to theory over practice. The differences between the images in Philosophical Transactions and Opticks are also considered within the broader institutional context of Newton’s attitude towards the Royal Society.
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References found in this work BETA
D. J. Bryden & D. L. Simms (1993). Spectacles Improved to Perfection and Approved of by the Royal Society. Annals of Science 50 (1):1-32.
Antoni Malet (1997). Isaac Barrow on the Mathematization of Nature: Theological Voluntarism and the Rise of Geometrical Optics. Journal of the History of Ideas 58 (2):265-287.
Sven Dupré (2005). Optics, Pictures and Evidence: Leonardo's Drawings of Mirrors and Machinery. Early Science and Medicine 10 (2):211-236.
Jean-François Gauvin (2006). Artisans, Machines, and Descartes's Organon. History of Science 44:187.
Alan E. Shapiro (1996). The Gradual Acceptance of Newton's Theory of Light and Color, 1672-1727. Perspectives on Science 4:59-140.
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