Leibniz's dispute with Newton over the physico-mathematical theories expounded in the Principia Mathematica (1687) have long been identified as a crucial episode in the history of science. Dr. Bertoloni Meli examines several hitherto unpublished manuscripts in Leibniz's own hand illustrating his first reading of and reaction to Newton's Principia. Six of the most important manuscripts are here edited for the first time. Contrary to Leibniz's own
claims, this new evidence shows that he had studied Newton's masterpiece before publishing An Essay on the Causes of Celestial Motions. This article, representing his response to Newton, is included here in English
translation. Dr. Bertoloni Meli analyses the important implications of this episode on a variety of themes ranging from priority claims to the mathematization of nature in the seventeenth century. Besides providing a careful study of Leibniz's style and strategy, the author examines how our perception of Newton's achievement is affected and the reception of the rival theories by the mathematical community around 1700. "Bertoloni's book provides a very detailed and deep analysis of
Leibniz's calculus and dynamics by focusing on a consistent and important set of previously unknown manuscripts..." Niccolo Guicciardini, Universita de Bologna "...Equivalence and Priority is a major
contribution to our understanding of the development of mathematical physics in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century." Daniel Garber, University of Chigago
`Bertoloni Meli's book provides a very detailed and deep analysis of Leibniz's calculus and dynamics by focusing on a consistent and important set of previously unknown manuscripts.'
Annuals of Science
`Equivalence and Priority is a major contribution to our understanding of the development of mathematical physics in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.'
`Remarkable analysis of Leibniz's earliest thoughts of the Principa.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
`Bertoloni Meli's important book, first published in 1993, well deserves to be issued in a paperback version.'
Zentralblatt für Mathematik 876
`The book presents a lucidly written insight into the development of mathematical physics around the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth century and to the background of the analysis of Leibniz's reactions to Newton's Principia... The book provides an interesting reading and can be warmly recommended not only to those wishing to understand many facets of the Newton Leibniz rivalry, but to general readers with an interest in the history of
European Mathematical Society Newsletter, June 1998, issue 28
1: Astronomy and the Keplerian programme
2: Vortices and fluids: from gravity to elasticity
3: Geometry and the calculus
4: Mathematical representations of motion and force
5: The private itinerary
7: Reflections on Leibniz's theory and its development
8: A reappraisal of Newton's itinerary
9: The Reception of Newtonian and Leibnizian theories