Last modified on 24 August 2014, at 16:03

Talk:Isaac Newton

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Standing on the shoulders of GiantsEdit

"What Des-Cartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

This statement of Newton's, in a letter to Hooke, has relatively recently begun to be construed to be, or is even reported as "certainly" having been somehow an insult to the small stature of Hooke, either physically, intellectually, or both, but I cannot see that there is anything either certain, obvious, or even the least bit valid to such an interpretation.

A statement by William C. Waterhouse, Professor of Mathematics, at Penn State University presented at http://www.science-jokes.refleksje.pl/9_3.html indicates that the idea that this was somehow intended as a personal insult seems to have originated with Frank Manuel, in his book A Portrait of Isaac Newton (1968), and that he has "never seen any reason to believe it."

Despite an assertion that was previously made on the article page, there is no statement that I am aware of where Newton ever referred to Hooke as a "dwarf", though I have found that there is an irresponsibly warped and presumptive interpretation of Newton's "Shoulder of Giants" statement in An Underground Education (1997) by Richard Zacks which declares: You might translate Newton's sentiments: "While I admit to building on the work of my scientific predecessors, I certainly didn't learn anything from a dwarf like you."

Personally, from what is indicated by the statement, I wouldn't translate Newton's sentiments into anything of the sort, and would consider this and other such interpretations as some people have made upon it to be an insult to normal human intelligence, if it were not plainly an indication of an appalling deficiency in their own.

More on other incidents of the idea which Newton uses can be found at the Wikipedia article "Standing on the shoulders of giants" ~ Achilles 19:03, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

For the sake of interest and comparison, I'll mention that there was an Italian anatomist called Caecilius Folius (1615-1650) who said "we know quite well that knowledge is acquired by adding one piece of it to another, and that all of us, like children sitting on the shoulders of giants, can see far more than our predecessors could." [For reference see, Clarke and O Malley's "The Human Brain and Spinal Cord. A Historical Study Illustrated by Writings from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century." 2nd Ed, Norman Publishing.] 129.79.193.233 00:17, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Attribution of Pebbles Quote to PlatoEdit

Plato did not say this. I think anyone will see how the confusion arose by consulting p. 146 of the second volume of Adam's commentary on the Republic.

Sourced sectionEdit

This needs work. "Sourced" these days is taken to mean that it actually tracks to the stated originator. A great many of these merely show someone repeated it as a factoid in some book. Gordonofcartoon 19:29, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm inexperienced in wikiquote's standards, but from my wikipedia point of view I do not understand why there are quotes here that do not originate from Newton. Here is an uncited one I've removed from the page:
and another:

"The world will end in 2060, according to Newton" in the London Evening Standard (19 June 2007)]

and another:
  • Recently the statement "I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with." has been attributed to Plato, but the earliest published occurrence of this seems to be in The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Helping People Grow (2004) by Douglas K. Silsbee, p. 13, where it is attributed to Plato without a sourced citation.
Maybe these non-quotes belong in a section further down? :-84user 14:46, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Two of the removals are understandable and have not been reverted, but one of these was actually a citation for a variant with modernized spelling : "As quoted in "The world will end in 2060, according to Newton" in the London Evening Standard (19 June 2007)"
The other two were a permissible but non-essential references to a humorous derivative made by Peter Winkler, and what was probably a response to someone's accusation that Newton's famous statement actually originated with Plato. I have not restored these, as they were rather trivial additions, but the citation I did restore, as the source of a modern published variant of a statement. ~ 17:33, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Changing the "Shoulders of Giants" quote.Edit

I'm surprised to see that the 'shoulders of giants' quote has been modernized. It currently reads:

If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Surely if we have the original words, we should use them?

The original can be found in "The correspondence of Isaac Newton, volume I", edited by HW Turnbull, 1959, page 416, and it reads:

"If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants".

Four changes - omitting the 'only', changing 'the' to 'ye', omitting the u from shoulders, and capitalizing the G.

I have a pdf scan of the letter itself from Turnbull. But I have no idea how to post that here. If you want to see it, please advise me how to do it. In the meantime, I can link you to Robert Merton's book, ' On The Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript', Free Press (1965), in which he quotes Newton on page 9, exactly as I have it here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=svkcAYr8JhEC&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=%22If+I+have+seen+further+it+is+by+standing+on+ye+sholders+of+Giants%22&source=bl&ots=YKYlc7EpnM&sig=3B3ZMwpa-IJqUA7J-XANZ-42piY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SnQYT_CIC4-p8QORzuCzCw&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=%22If%20I%20have%20seen%20further%20it%20is%20by%20standing%20on%20ye%20sholders%20of%20Giants%22&f=false

So does anyone have any objections to me making the changes?

(Edit to add: Interestingly, if you use Google to search for the current version, you get 6.5 million hits. If you google the correct version, you get 2 thousand!! So this may be a case of shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. But I still think we should change it).

Gnu Ordure 20:47, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the notice on this, I knew that the page had some uncontested and insufficiently examined edits, but this one had endured for quite a while. Years ago it had been posted properly as "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants" and has now been ammended back to this form, with modernized variants listed afterwards. ~ Kalki·· 21:08, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Kalki. (Are you a Gore Vidal fan, then?) And thank you for your private message. This is indeed my first attempt to edit Wikiquote (though I've edited Wikipedia itself a few times), so I thought I would seek approval before making the edit. After all, it's quite a famous quotation...

So, to be clear, are you OK with me making the edit?

By the way, I'm also suggesting these same changes on Wikipedia, the "SOTSOG" article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants#Using_Newton.27s_actual_words...

Feel free to contribute there - noboby has replied yet!

Gnu Ordure 21:22, 19 January 2012 (UTC)


Gnu Ordure 21:22, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I already made the change suggested, and yes, I actually am a fan of Gore Vidal's wit, but not someone quite so cynical as he — and I had used the name long before I learned of his darkly comic take on it — or even the Hindu and Buddhist takes on it — and though I had used variants of it for years, had decided to use such as my primary identifier one day before coincidentally learning of his dark cautionary tale against placing too much trust or power in the hands of individuals and groups of any sort. One of my favorite novels of his was his take on the emperor Julian. ~ Kalki·· 21:32, 19 January 2012 (UTC) + tweak

Hi Kalki: "I already made the change suggested" - ah, sorry, I didn't see you'd done it. Cheers.

As you can see, I've also removed the 'u' from shoulders, and added a note that 'sholders' is the original spelling, in case anyone thinks it's a typo. I hope that's OK.Gnu Ordure 21:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

That seems fine. I might go over things more later, but have been attending to computer work and other things in a bit of a rotating consideration. I might get back to working here for a few hours straight soon. ~ Kalki·· 21:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Cool. Do you think I should go ahead and change the Wikipedia article as well? I'd appreciate your opinion.

I read Vidal's Kalki 30 years ago. I seem to remember it was pretty funny. (Goes off to check library - returns). Yes, still got it! I'm going to read it again, right now. Nice to meet you, Kalki. Gnu Ordure 22:09, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Though we strive for accuracy here, often using archaic forms as our first variant of a quote, I can see that the modernized versions might be preferred by many when simply presenting the gist of the statement. I certainly don't object to using the modernized forms, but often it is good to remind people that even English language quotations have often undergone sometimes significant translation and revision from earlier forms. Vidal's take on Kalki was a rather mortifyingly dark one — but I must admit it was satirical genius — despite my own brighter take on things in general, I agree with many of the points he makes against presumptions. I can acknowledge he is a "valid ogre" of pessimism and despair, but I do tend to disagree with him on some of his more extreme opinions, and prefer to embrace many forms of optimism and hope, in regard to human Awareness, Life, and Love of Liberty, Truth and Justice. As you intend to reread the work, any significant quotes you find in his novel, can be added to the Kalki page. ~ Kalki·· 22:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC) + tweaks

"We build too many walls..." Source?Edit

Many sites and people attribute to Newton the following quote: "We build too many walls and not enough bridges". Is this really of Newton? Anybody knows the source? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 87.4.254.149 (talk) 14:39, 24 March 2012

This was attributed to Newton by Dominique Pire in his Nobel Lecture upon receiving Nobel Peace Prize, 11 December 1958 (in French, English translation), after which it became widely quoted. Pire's words were "Les homes construisent trop de murs et pas assez de ponts." (Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.) However, I cannot find any earlier sources in English or French so I suspect the attribution is apocryphal. I have also seen it attributed without citation to Antoine de Saint Exupéry. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:56, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

I think I discovered the real author: he's not Isaac, but Joseph Fort Newton, a baptist minister and freemason: http://www.books.fr/blog/newton-hors-les-murs-955/ (however, I don't find the source of the text). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 79.25.178.76 (talk) 19:31, 24 March 2012

Thanks, I believe you are right. I found the passage from which it is apparently paraphrased, and added it to the "Misattributed" section because the error is widely repeated in print, not just on the web. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:34, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

"Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas" quote referenceEdit

Reference for Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas. quote is on page 88r of his Trinity College Notebook : http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-03996/179 - The format of this section seemed a little unusual to what I am used to so wasn't sure how to add.

Quotes about Newton trimmed downEdit

Wikiquote alone has over 100 articles linking to this page, and numerous notable scientists have reflected on the Newton's life, work and accomplishments. The section about newton can only contain all ready a selection of these quotes.

In this situation I don't see the need to add quotes by non-notable scientist and/or scientific works which has hardly any scientific impact. Just restoring the selection of quotes of those scientists (see here) is unacceptable. -- Mdd (talk) 22:02, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

I personally did not add all the quotes that I just restored, and probably would not have added some of them, but I believe any drive toward removing "expert commentary" that comes from published works, simply because the authors are not independently famous is an overly restrictive one, that is unacceptable. "Expert" commentary on various subjects and previously published commentary by people familiar with people who are subjects of articles has long been accepted even from relatively obscure authors. ~ Kalki·· 22:07, 13 July 2014 (UTC) + tweaks
There are several clear criteria here we can think of for inclusion:
  1. The author should be notable
  2. The work should be exceptional notable, cq highly cited
  3. The specific quotes are particularly famous, cq more often mentioned in secondary sources.
Now I made a (quick) check with these criteria, and trimmed down the section. When such time is invested it is unacceptable to simply restore all quotes, as if it is unacceptable to trim this kind of sections (which is definitely not true). Restoring all quotes here is unacceptable. What we could do is consider the individual quotes. Which of those quotes even fulfill one or more of the criteria mentioned here? -- Mdd (talk) 22:20, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
"There are several clear criteria here we can think of for inclusion" — NO, these are several assertions you are suddenly NOW proposing to IMPOSE as criteria for what CAN BE INCLUDED based upon YOUR JUDGEMENT. In MY assessment, which you are welcome to believe as asinine as you like, it is an is an improperly imposing judgment, and DEFIES long standing practices and policies.
"The author should be notable", "The work should be exceptional notable, cq highly cited" and "the specific quotes are particularly famous, cq more often mentioned in secondary sources"— these are ALL standards that have NOT been accepted here in over 10 years of existence, and they are clearly implying that an expert on some subject that is not famous enough to be notable enough for their own article should not be quoted at all— and I repeat : SUCH ASSERTIONS HAVE NEVER BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A CRITERIA HERE, and I believe it NEVER should be.
I believe that the quotes being adamantly removed, and my restorations of them automatically reverted, had with one exception been in article for quite some time, since last year,at least, and I see no strong reason to remove any of them, and significant reasons to retain a few of them:
A request for comment is added at the Wikiquote:Village pump, see here. -- Mdd (talk) 13:21, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe that this is a perfect time for us to be guided by Wikiquote:Quotability. Cheers! BD2412 T 14:55, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed this recent comment until just now, but actually believe it is always a proper time for people to be heedful of MANY things, including guidelines, but NOT be guided by abject deference to ANY guidelines or rules devised by a few to give advantages to the preferences of a few, and to defy treating any guidelines or such rules as absolute MANDATES, or those who make pushes towards treating them as absolute mandates. ~ Kalki·· 23:59, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

The quotes removedEdit

The long standing quotes which were summarily removed and my restorations of them already automatically reverted twice (roughly in the states in which I restored them) were these:
  • From the thick darkness of the middle ages man's struggling spirit emerged as in new birth; breaking out of the iron control of that period; growing strong and confident in the tug and din of succeeding conflict and revolution, it bounded forwards and upwards with restless vigour to the investigation of physical and moral truth; ascending height after height; sweeping afar over the earth, penetrating afar up into the heavens; increasing in endeavour, enlarging in endowment; every where boldly, earnestly out-stretching, til, in the AUTHOR of the PRINCIPIA, one arose, who, grasping the master-key of the universe and treading its celestial paths, opened up to the human intellect the stupendous realities of the material world, and, in the unrolling of its harmonies, gave to the human heart a new song to the goodness, wisdom, and majesty of the all-creating, all-sustaining, all-perfect God.
  • Newton's intensive analysis of "lunar distances" turned out to be scientifically fruitful in serendipitous ways — it led to the formulation of the law of universal gravitation and contributed to his development of the calculus — but he was unable to predict adequately the moon's erratic motions. It was, he declared, the only problem that made his head ache.
  • Newton invented a mathematical language (the "fluxion" method, closely related to our present-day calculus) to express his mechanics, but in an odd historical twist, rarely applied that language himself.
    • William H. Cropper, Great Physicists (2004)
  • Sir Isaac Newton, having perhaps the greatest scientific mind of all time, accepted the books of Book of Daniel and Revelation as revelations from God, being very detailed and accurate representations of the history of the world's dominating kingdoms, and prophesying both the first and second coming of Christ. He understood that the scriptures taught that the true Church of Jesus Christ had been lost, and he awaited three separate future events: 1) the restoration of the gospel by an angel, 2) the re-establishment of the true church, and 3) the rise of a new world kingdom led by the Savior himself, which will crush the kingdoms of the world as the stone pulverized the statue to powder. He saw the whole purpose of these revelations is not to satisfy man's curiosity about the future, but to be a testimony of the foreknowledge of God after they are all fulfilled in the last days. He proposed that the revelations can be understood by discovering rules governing their consistent imagery, but only after they have been fulfilled, unless an interpretation is given with the revelation. Truly Newton's genius was remarkable, and we could learn much from his insights and systematic methods.
  • Newton proposed that the particles of the air (we would call them molecules), were motionless in space and were held apart by repulsive forces between them... He assumed that the repulsive force was inversely proportional to the distance between the particles...He showed that, on the basis of this assumption, a collection of static particles in a box would behave exactly as Boyle had found. His model led directly to Boyle's law. Probably the greatest scientist ever, Newton managed to get the right answer from a model that was wrong in every possible way.
    • Brian L. Silver, The Ascent of Science (1998)
  • The weight of a smallish apple is, pleasingly, about 1 newton, or 1 N. ...Newton probably weighed about 700 newtons.
    • Brian L. Silver, The Ascent of Science (1998)

I believe these all should be restored, and especially and strongly believe Pratt's commentaries from a recent publication on Newton's interpretive writings should DEFINITELY be restored. ~ Kalki·· 22:36, 13 July 2014 (UTC) + tweaks

Thanks for listing those quotes. But first of all let us be reminded, that the current section consist of 35 quotes, while Newton is mentioned in Wikiquote at least 100 times. There are tons of quotes from more reliable persons available.
As to the particular quote by John P. Pratt, the article itself is not even listed on Google Scholar; the author doesn't seem to be mentioned once in Wikipedia; and the quote is not listed in any other book; and since 2004 numerous articles have been written which mention Newton (see here, what makes this quote so special? What message is so important? If you know the answer, we could look for a quote with a similar message from a more reliable source? -- Mdd (talk) 23:24, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Adopting a standard of "pithiness" which I, personally, have NEVER advocated as essential, I believe it sufficiently "pithy" on some aspects of Newton's interests and character to merit CONTINUED inclusion, and NOT presumptive REMOVAL.
Before I begin some brief criticisms of what I believe to be some of your exhibited stances here, after which I will have to leave, probably for at least a few hours, I will state that am generally impressed with your exhibited intelligence and knowledge in regard to many things, your generally good disposition towards some generally acknowledged forms of fairness, and am certainly thankful for the the articles and quotes which you have been adding more abundantly lately, but I have little timidity in making a few comments of irritation at the attitude and behavior you are presently exhibiting, which I believe are rather condescending and dictatorial. However politely sounding the words and statements you have used, you are in effect adamant in insisting that YOUR particular judgements about what should be the criteria for inclusion SHOULD simply and without further debate be the criteria which I and others accept and comply with. Though I have many other things to be attending to, in this instance, and must soon be leaving, I am NOT going to let such apparent assumptions go unaddressed.
You continue to phrase your inquiries on the matter here AS IF your criteria are simply properly ESTABLISHED ones on this project, which they are NOT. I am sure you can find others to agree with you, but I do not. Beyond simply deriding a relatively obscure author as not independently notable enough for you, you imply that if an author does not meet your criteria for fame they should be treated as NOT sufficiently "reliable source" for statements on any matters at all.
As I believe this definitely betrays and undermines some of the principles with which wikimedia wikis and most wikis were established, I will engage in a bit of sarcasm here and inquire as to who suddenly appointed you the DICTATOR or director of what others might add or quote?
I will once again indicate a personal and long-standing rather "anarchistic" and liberty-loving bias here, in that to a great extent since my own physical infancy and certainly since early childhood, I have respected others rights to largely autonomous decisions and choices, and considered those who believe that they KNOW what is BEST for others to DO or NOT DO, and seek to impose needlessly stringent constraints upon them and their options as being far worse than infantile, in many ways, whatever their native intelligence, acquired knowledge or developed powers and abilities, and even benevolent intentions. In such stances I believe they are exhibiting the hubris which regards any assessments or values other than their own with far too little respect, and expect far too much deference to their implicit disrespect and disregard of other views and values.
MOST quotes about Newton to be found will no doubt be in regard to his scientific ideas and explorations, and not his religious thought and biblical interpretations, though these actually made up a great deal of his personal writings. Thus Pratt's article and statements are on a relatively obscure topic, but certainly a notable one to many. Meridian magazine seems to be a publication associated with the Mormons, and I will state that I personally am NOT a Mormon, and actually disagree with MANY doctrinal stances of MOST formal religious organizations, but respectfully assert that the opinions of people with such views as belong to ANY of these on various matters SHOULD not be excluded here merely because they do not pass what you seem to WISH to establish as ABSOLUTE criteria, and I once again REJECT and DENOUNCE your attempt to IMPOSE such new criteria, as have NOT been generally accepted as necessary or proper here. I might double check this but soon must be leaving, so that's about all I will say for now. Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 00:58, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I fail to see why "Pratt's article and statements are... a notable one to many?" Presented as "Mormon scholar John P. Pratt" (by Marianne Monson-Burton (2004), Celebrating Passover, p. 99), what scholarly impact did he have? According to Google Scholar his most cited article "Newton's Date for the Crucifixion" was cited 4 times. -- Mdd (talk) 13:17, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Though I find the whole quote notable in presenting particular perspectives on Newton's assessments of prophecies, just using first sentence of it indicates why some people might find it notable statement: "Sir Isaac Newton, having perhaps the greatest scientific mind of all time, accepted the books of Book of Daniel and Revelation as revelations from God, being very detailed and accurate representations of the history of the world's dominating kingdoms, and prophesying both the first and second coming of Christ."
I certainly believe that such succinct and accurate assessments of Newton's views SHOULD be retained, as until your removal, which I find presumptive, I believe it had existed on the page with no dispute at all since addition on 27 September 2011. I actually do not remember what initially brought the statement to my attention, for neither the magazine nor the author is one I would normally read, but however I came across it, I found the quote a notable and accurate observation, and a good summation of some of Newton's views on prophecy. ~ Kalki·· 21:14, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I also think it is a quote worth keeping. (In fact, I find all the removed quotes cited above to be both informative & interesting—I agree with Kalki that they should be restored.) ~ DanielTom (talk) 21:53, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. I will review every quote separately. -- Mdd (talk) 00:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

First quote : Chittenden (1848)Edit

The quote (see highlighted section) is selected from the following paragraph:

  • To the teacher and the taught, the scholar and the student, the devotee of Science and the worshipper of Truth, the Principia must ever continue to be of inestimable value. If to educate means, not so much to store the memory with symbols and facts, as to bring forth the faculties of the soul and develope them to the full by healthy nurture and a hardy discipline, then, what so effective to the accomplishment of that end as the study of Geometrical Synthesis? The Calculus, in some shape or other, is, indeed, necessary to the successful prosecution of researches in the higher branches of philosophy. But has not the Analytical encroached upon the Synthetical, and Algorithmic Formulas been employed when not requisite, either for the evolution of truth, or even its apter illustration? To each method belongs, undoubtedly, an appropriate use. Newton, himself the inventor of Fluxions, censured the handling of Geometrical subjects by Algebraical calculations; and the maturest opinions which he expressed were additionally in favour of the Geometrical Method. His preference, so strongly marked, is not to be reckoned a mere matter of taste; and his authority should bear with preponderating weight upon the decision of every instructor in adopting what may be deemed the best plan to insure the completest mental development. Geometry, the vigorous product of remote time; blended with the earliest aspirations of Science and the earliest applications of Art; as well in the measures of music as in the movement of spheres; as wholly in the structure of the atom as in that of the world; directing Motion and shaping Appearance; in a word, at the moulding of the created all, is, in comprehensive view, the outward form of that Inner Harmony of which and in which all things are. Plainly, therefore, this noble study has other and infinitely higher uses than to increase the power of abstraction. A more general and thorough cultivation of it should be strenuously insisted on. Passing from the pages of Euclid or Legendre, might not the student be led, at the suitable time, to those of the Principia wherein Geometry may be found in varied use from the familiar to the sublime 1 The profoundest and the happiest results, it is believed, would attend upon this enlargement of our Educational System.
    • Sir Isaac Newton, N. W. Chittenden. Newton's Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. 1848, p. vi-vii

Now that particular quote is based on 1728 text by Henry Pemberton, quoted as follows in a 1845 work:

  • Newton censured the handling of geometrical subjects by algebraical calculations. He used to commend the laudable attempt of Hugo d'Omerique (in his 'Analysis Geometrica Nova et Vera,') to restore the ancient analysis, and very much esteemed the tract of 'Apollonius De Sectione Rationis,' for giving us a clearer notion of that analysis than we had before. The taste and mode of geometrical demonstration of the ancients he professed to admire, and even censured himself for not having more closely followed them than he did: and spoke with regret of his mistake, at the beginning of his mathematical studies, in applying himself to the works of Descartes and other algebraical writers, before he had considered the Elements of Euclid with the attention they deserve.

Now a similar quote can be found 1770-76 source:

  • I have often heard him (Sir Isaac) censure the handling geometrical subjects by algebraic calculations; and his book of algebra he called by the name of Universal Arithmetic, in opposition to the injudicious title of geometry, which Descartes had given to the treatise, wherein he shows, how the geometer may assist his invention by such kind of computations.

Now this is an interesting article, but if we want to get to the bottom of this the original 1728 source should be taken into consideration...

Now if we check with Wikiquote:Quotability#Quotes by or about individuals, we can determine

  1. The quote itself could be considered particularly witty, pithy, wise, eloquent, or poignant
  2. The author is not that notable
  3. The particular quote itself is not independently well known
  4. The quote itself is not completely original.

The above does show that a there are more original similar quotes, that do fit these criteria. -- Mdd (talk) 00:00, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svgY Done The initial non-original quote has been replaced with a larger quote with some more context, see here -- Mdd (talk) 23:53, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Second quote : Chittenden (1848)Edit

  • From the thick darkness of the middle ages man's struggling spirit emerged as in new birth; breaking out of the iron control of that period; growing strong and confident in the tug and din of succeeding conflict and revolution, it bounded forwards and upwards with restless vigour to the investigation of physical and moral truth; ascending height after height; sweeping afar over the earth, penetrating afar up into the heavens; increasing in endeavour, enlarging in endowment; every where boldly, earnestly out-stretching, til, in the AUTHOR of the PRINCIPIA, one arose, who, grasping the master-key of the universe and treading its celestial paths, opened up to the human intellect the stupendous realities of the material world, and, in the unrolling of its harmonies, gave to the human heart a new song to the goodness, wisdom, and majesty of the all-creating, all-sustaining, all-perfect God.

Now if we check with Wikiquote:Quotability#Quotes by or about individuals, we can determine

  1. The quote could maybe considered eloquent, but I don't see it.
  2. The author is not notable, and this work seem to be the only one he edited.
  3. The particular quote itself is not independently well known, a few parts may be cited a few times in the 19th century
  4. The quote itself is not completely original, when starting with the "thick darkness of the middle ages"

-- Mdd (talk) 00:40, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Third quote: Conner (2005)Edit

  • Newton's intensive analysis of "lunar distances" turned out to be scientifically fruitful in serendipitous ways — it led to the formulation of the law of universal gravitation and contributed to his development of the calculus — but he was unable to predict adequately the moon's erratic motions. It was, he declared, the only problem that made his head ache.

This quote is not citing Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1983), but that work is mentioned as reference.

Now this work by Westfall (1983) is worthy for inclusion here, according to Google Scholar cited 900+ times. All could look if there is a real quote from that work. -- Mdd (talk) 00:49, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Forth quote: Cropper 2001/2003Edit

Yes check.svgY Done expanded and added back with some additional information. -- Mdd (talk) 01:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Quoted five: John P. Pratt (2004)Edit

  • Sir Isaac Newton, having perhaps the greatest scientific mind of all time, accepted the books of Book of Daniel and Revelation as revelations from God, being very detailed and accurate representations of the history of the world's dominating kingdoms, and prophesying both the first and second coming of Christ. He understood that the scriptures taught that the true Church of Jesus Christ had been lost, and he awaited three separate future events: 1) the restoration of the gospel by an angel, 2) the re-establishment of the true church, and 3) the rise of a new world kingdom led by the Savior himself, which will crush the kingdoms of the world as the stone pulverized the statue to powder. He saw the whole purpose of these revelations is not to satisfy man's curiosity about the future, but to be a testimony of the foreknowledge of God after they are all fulfilled in the last days. He proposed that the revelations can be understood by discovering rules governing their consistent imagery, but only after they have been fulfilled, unless an interpretation is given with the revelation. Truly Newton's genius was remarkable, and we could learn much from his insights and systematic methods.

Kalki stated: "MOST quotes about Newton to be found will no doubt be in regard to his scientific ideas and explorations, and not his religious thought and biblical interpretations"

At least one famous quote is:

  • As to the Christian religion, besides the strong evidence which we have for it, there is a balance in its favour from the number of great men who have been convinced of its truth after a serious consideration of the question. Grotius was an acute man, a lawyer, a man accustomed to examine evidence, and he was convinced. Grotius was not a recluse, but a man of the world, who certainly had no bias on the side of religion. Sir Isaac Newton set out an infidel, and came to be a very firm believer.

-- Mdd (talk) 01:48, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

That there are indeed quite notable quotes about Newton's religious beliefs does not negate my comment that MOST quotes to be found about him will be in regard to his scientific accomplishments, and the quote by Pratt summing up his beliefs in regard to prophecies continues to be one I believe sufficiently notable for retention. Elsewhere on the page you have cited some of the guidelines which others seem to find brilliant summations of "common sense", but which I do not, and which I certainly believe should NEVER become used as more than guidelines, as means to absolutely EXCLUDE any quotes which do not accord with them, AS IF to do so were ABSOLUTELY established policy. Such is not a precedent towards deference to an absolutist idolatry of presumptive rules or rule by absolutist presumption to which I wish to even appear to give any sanction. Throughout my years of work here, I have much preferred to add material without much commentary, rather than to create the growing material on many relatively obscure policy pages by which to introduce further means of controlling what others can add. I know that I can sometimes be "verbose" in being meticulous in some of my assertion opposing what I perceive to be the growth of needless or detrimental constraints, but I would rather be meticulous and tiresome and wearied in promoting liberty and preserving options for diversity than in reducing either needlessly. ~ Kalki·· 12:06, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

There is the situation here, that the content of the quote might be interesting; the author, article and magazine are not (that) notable; and the quote itself is not cited. In a solution can be to invited investigate the (more) original source(s) of John P. Pratt detailed statements, and look for (more) appropriate quotes. -- Mdd (talk) 10:31, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Your "polite suggestion" that your personal preferences to remove what had been a long existing quote here, should simply be deferred to, and another similar one be found by more "original" sources than Pratt, despite the objections of myself and another does not seem sufficient for me to delay RESTORING this quote any longer, and I am doing so now. ~ Kalki·· 16:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Quote six and sevenEdit

Yes check.svgY Done added back to the article. -- Mdd (talk) 00:56, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

More quotes removed (1)Edit

  • He bought a book of Iudicial Astrology out of a curiosity to see what there was in that science & read in it till he came to a figure of the heavens which he could not understand for want of being acquainted with Trigonometry, & to understand the ground of that bought an English Euclid with an Index of all the problems at the end of it & only turned to two or three which he thought necessary for his purpose & read nothing but the titles of them finding them so easy & self evident that he wondered any body would be at the pains of writing a demonstration of them & laid Euclid aside as a trifling book, & was soon convinced of the vanity & emptiness of the pretended science of Iudicial astrology.
    • An account by John Conduitt, Newton's assistant and his niece's husband, of Newton as a young student. Also quoted in The Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton (1967) by D.T. Whiteside, M.A. Hoskin and A. Prag, Vol. 1, pp. 15-19
Comment

The source seem to be a draft of a 17th century (??) "Draft account of Newton's life at Cambridge." This quote is not yet properly published, and since the 17th century never cited in any secondary source. -- Mdd (talk) 18:40, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

The comment to the above quote provides a direct link to the online Newton project, and also cites a 1967 work in which it was at least partially quoted, and since 1977 it has been at least partially quoted in at least 6 published works, and there are further incidents of a significant portion of the quote presently on the internet, and I believe it should certainly be retained here. The quote itself was initially added on 16 February 2007, as further indication of Newton's rejection of the presumptions of predictive astrology formulations — something which in the twentieth century became something it was widely implied he supported. I believe there had been no significant dispute as to its inclusion in over seven years on a very well visited and worked-upon page, though just prior to your removal of it, the comment upon it was trimmed by Ninguable, with the summary statement "no need to interpret the quote (IMO it is much more interesting that he was unimpressed by Euclid than by astrology)". I actually agree with part of Ningauble's statement, as the quote does deal with Newton's early dismissive assessments of Euclid's proofs, as well as his more enduring ones of predictive astrology, but I believe the comment should actually state such facts more clearly, simply because the grammar is rather archaic and not all might recognize the full gist of his rejection of the "pretended science of Iudicial astrology" rather than those of general astronomy, which often were called by the same names in those days.
Though perhaps motivated by what might be considered by some as a valid or even proper move toward greater "academic exclusivity", I believe that this is a further of example of what I consider a move toward greater ranges of "officiate control" and greater potential for presumptive censorship of ideas, especially of relatively obscure views, observations and quotes because quotes or people do not pass standards of established fame which you are apparently seeking to IMPOSE, apparently confident that there will little dissent amidst the general apathy and lack of interest in the relatively few people actively involved here, to get involved in disputes, especially with a prominent and active "official" and someone apparently intent on creating what to people of little interest in matters, might seem "reasonably restrictive rules." I am very familiar with the processes of general apathy, by which "reasonable restrictive rules" which, beyond those against clear vandalism of destructive edits or obvious SPAM, I believe almost NEVER should be more than provisional guidelines on a healthy wiki, become gradually treated by some AS IF they are absolute mandates which some can impose and insist upon others deferring to with relative impunity. I certainly have made it evident in my long years of work on this project that I consider the increase of such rules as further restrict contributive potential always appalling, and something to be regularly resisted. ~ Kalki·· 21:41, 14 July 2014 (UTC) + tweaks
Yes check.svgY Done Thanks for your feedback. I found more complete source info and added back the quote. -- Mdd (talk) 00:22, 15 July 2014 (UTC)