Early eighteenth-century Newtonianism: the Huguenot contribution

John Theophilus Desaguliers’s allegorical poem The Newtonian system of the world, the best model of government crystallizes the contribution of several important French Protestant exiles to the construction of early Newtonianism. In the context of diverging interpretations of Newton’s scientific achievement in terms of natural religion, writers such as Des Maizeaux, Coste, Le Clerc and others actively disseminated a version of Newtonianism which was close to Newton’s own intention. Through public experiments, translations, correspondence, reviews and books, they managed to convey a vision of Newtonian science which coincided with their propaganda of English liberties in Church and State. Therefore their effort on behalf of Newtonianism can be interpreted as part of a wider strategy of assimilation into English society at a time when most exiled Huguenots had given up hope of ever recreating a French Reformed Church at home.Author Keywords: Isaac Newton; John Theophilus Desaguliers; Pierre Coste; Pierre Des Maizeaux; Abraham de Moivre; Huguenots; Physico-theology; Translation; Vulgarization; Enlightenment.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2004.06.006
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Newton: The Classical Scholia.Paolo Casini - 1984 - History of Science 22 (1):1-58.
Newtom in France: A New View.A. Rupert Hall - 1975 - History of Science 13 (4):233-250.
Hogarth's Post-Newtonian Universe.Amal Asfour - 1999 - Journal of the History of Ideas 60 (4):693-716.

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