Tuesday, June 15, 2010


In the comments to “Pond” post, my opponents were ready to believe that Newton was religious but, in their opinion, there was no evidence that he could be interested in astrology, and his apparent interest in alchemy was nothing but a minor oddity of the genius of the modern science.

Here I present a series of quotes from a remarkable book by Dr Charles Webster “From Paracelsus to Newton. Magic and the making of modern science” (Cambridge University Press, 1982). The author is a historian at the University of Oxford, and the book is the Eddington Memorial Lectures given in 1980.

The main idea of the book is that there is a firm link between occultist Paracelsus (1493-1541) and physicist Newton (1643-1727), because both of them were natural philosophers in their perception of life and science, and although this influence on Newton is generally denied by some modern studies, “it is unfortunate for any proponent of this line that figures of outstanding importance, including Newton himself, turn out to display a lively interest in the occult”.

“The literature of alchemy, hermetism and Paracelsian natural philosophy was […] required reading among the serious scholars of Newton’s generation”, because there existed “the self-evident kinship between hermetic, alchemical and scriptural sources”.

“Somewhat inconveniently for standard interpretations of the Scientific Revolution, the decades following the foundation of the Royal Society witness an outburst of judicial astrology, the continuing flourishing of Paracelsian medicine, undiminishing appeal of alchemy and hermetism, and the full fruition of Cambridge Platonism”.

“The changes in fortune of judicial astrology should not attract attention away from the continuing appeal of such ideas as divine plentitude, metaphysical hierarchies, or the existence of fundamental harmonies and correspondences between celestial and terrestrial world exercised through the intervention of a variety of spiritual agencies and intelligences. This animistic view of nature provided the intellectual underpinning for magic […] Magic retained its appeal as a useful spiritual exercise, and it was also recognised as of value for medicine and relevant to scientific explanation. It is therefore important not to assume that the decline of popular operative magic entailed the wholesale abandonment of the magical worldview”.

F.Manuel, “The religion of Isaac Newton” (Oxford, 1974): “The more Newton’s theological and alchemical, chronological and mythological work is examined as a whole corpus, set by the side of his science, the more apparent it becomes that in his moments of grandeur he saw himself as the last of the interpreters of God’s Will in action, living on the eve of the fulfilment of times”.

As John Keynes beautifully formulated in his work “Newton, the Man”, “He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child bom with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.”

Update of June 16. Newton's alchemical works are now available online.

And look at this text...


joy frankline said...

nice things defined by the author of this blog. this is right that astrology is nothing but a science and totally depends upon calculations of stars.


joy frankline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.01
prada handbags, longchamp outlet, longchamp, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ugg boots, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, louboutin outlet, burberry, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, nike air max, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, louboutin, replica watches, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, nike free, burberry outlet online, gucci outlet, nike outlet, chanel handbags, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, uggs on sale, louis vuitton, michael kors, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, jordan shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin outlet, louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet

ninest123 said...

burberry, hollister pas cher, hollister, nike blazer, lacoste pas cher, air force, michael kors, nike free run uk, north face, true religion outlet, hermes, nike huarache, true religion jeans, new balance pas cher, north face, air max, true religion jeans, nike air max, longchamp, louboutin pas cher, vans pas cher, nike trainers, mulberry, nike air max, true religion jeans, nike air max, replica handbags, michael kors, nike free, sac guess, michael kors, ray ban uk, vanessa bruno, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch, oakley pas cher, tn pas cher, michael kors, timberland, ralph lauren pas cher, sac longchamp, lululemon, nike roshe, coach purses, nike roshe run, air jordan pas cher, converse pas cher, hogan, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet

ninest123 said...

iphone 5s cases, oakley, nike air max, p90x workout, mont blanc, iphone 6s cases, nfl jerseys, converse, giuseppe zanotti, mac cosmetics, jimmy choo shoes, herve leger, instyler, timberland boots, hollister, s5 cases, iphone 6s plus cases, insanity workout, north face outlet, babyliss, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, ralph lauren, vans shoes, reebok shoes, vans, celine handbags, iphone cases, ray ban, north face outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, birkin bag, nike air max, soccer jerseys, asics running shoes, beats by dre, abercrombie and fitch, iphone 6 cases, ghd, new balance, valentino shoes, bottega veneta, hollister, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, lululemon, baseball bats, louboutin, ipad cases, ferragamo shoes, gucci, nike roshe

ninest123 said...

juicy couture outlet, canada goose, hollister, moncler, ugg boots uk, lancel, marc jacobs, moncler, juicy couture outlet, links of london, swarovski, pandora jewelry, barbour, moncler, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler outlet, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, coach outlet, canada goose, pandora jewelry, moncler, ugg pas cher, replica watches, louis vuitton, toms shoes, louis vuitton, pandora charms, converse outlet, karen millen, moncler, supra shoes, louis vuitton, sac louis vuitton pas cher, doudoune canada goose, barbour jackets, moncler, thomas sabo, doke gabbana outlet, canada goose outlet, bottes ugg, canada goose, moncler
ninest123 16.01

chenlina said...

louis vuitton handbags
mlb jerseys
polo ralph lauren
adidas outlet online
north face
hollister outlet
louis vuitton outlet
nike air max pas cher
christian louboutin paris
cheap nfl jerseys