Twenty-nine years in the making: Newton's opticks

Perspectives on Science 16 (4):pp. 417-438 (2008)
The 300th anniversary of the publication of Isaac Newton’s Opticks in 1704 provides an occasion to review the history of its composition and publication. As a preliminary to presenting that history, Newton’s attitude to publication and response to criticism are examined. Newton’s clashes with Hooke and his presumed role as the cause of the delay in the publication of the Opticks until after his death are also scrutinized. Rather than simply presenting Newton and Hooke as quarrelsome, which they indeed were, they are presented as rivals to be England’s leading optical authority. Although Newton announced his intention to publish a book very much like the Opticks in the winter of 1675–76, he did not begin to write it until 1687. It was composed in various stages, including new experimental investigations, by 1692, except for the part on diffraction. A planned, but unfulfilled, revision of the part on diffraction was responsible for delaying its publication for a number of years.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1162/posc.2008.16.4.417
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
A. Hall & Marie Hall (1962). Why Blame Oldenburg? Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 53:482-491.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

15 ( #264,968 of 1,938,828 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #459,264 of 1,938,828 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.