10 December 1999
NEWTON, Sir Isaac (1642-1727). The Method of Fluxions and Infinite Series; with its Application to the Geometry of Curve-Lines. Translated from the Latin by John Colson (1680-1760). - John COLSON. ...A Perpetual Comment upon the Foregoing Treatise. London: Henry Woodfall for John Nourse, 1736.
4o (243 x 185 mm). Collation: A2 a-b4 B-S4 T4 (T3+s2) U-Z4 Aa-Uu4 Xx2. Woodcut diagrams. Engraved frontispiece. (Tear to blank margin of b3, minor smudges to a2v-a3r.) Contemporary English sprinkled sheep (some wear, joints split).
Provenance: James Plunkett, Earl of Fingall (engraved bookplate); John Crear Library, Chicago (bookplate, supralibros and withdrawn inkstamp).
FIRST EDITION. "Written in 1671, Newton's Fluxions is a key document in the controversy over whether Newton or Leibnitz had priority in discovering differential calculus. Newton did not publish anything on the calculus until after 1700, whereas Leibnitz began publishing papers on the subject in 1684; however, Leibnitz's manuscript notes on the calculus date back only to 1673, eight years after Newton began investigating the subject" (Norman 1595). At the time the Methodus fluxionum was prepared, it embodied Newton's fullest exposition of the fundamental problem of the calculus. The text remained unpublished until this English translation by John Colson was printed. The original Latin text was not published until 1779. The second half of the present edition is occupied by Colson's "Perpetual Comment." Babson/Newton 171; Wallis 232.
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