While the publishing of the Principia Mathematica can be seen as a single revolutionary moment in the history of science, it is also important to recognize the historical context that provided for its publication. During the seventeenth century, scientific inquiry was changing in a way that created space for a genius like Newton to make and publish his discoveries. Central to these changes was the emergence of a “scientific community,” a group of individuals bonded by the common goal of finding new scientific knowledge. Newton was an active participant in the emerging scientific community, as a member and eventual president of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Natural Knowledge. In this paper, I will investigate the role that the Royal Society for the Promotion of Natural Knowledge played in the production, publication, and circulation of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, his most important work. I will argue that the Royal Society fostered its...
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