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He then reached back for the support of classical geometry.Within little more than a year, he had mastered the literature; and, pursuing his own line of analysis, he began to move into new territory.Fortunately, the mistake was recognized, and Newton was sent back to the grammar school in Grantham, where he had already studied, to prepare for the university.
Isaac Newton was born to a widowed mother (his father died three months prior) and was not expected to survive, being tiny and weak.
Shortly thereafter Newton was sent by his stepfather, the well-to-do minister Barnabas Smith, to live with his grandmother and was separated from his mother until Smith’s death in 1653.
The “Quaestiones” also reveal that Newton already was inclined to find the latter a more attractive philosophy than Cartesian natural philosophy, which rejected the existence of ultimate indivisible particles.
The works of the 17th-century chemist Hermetic tradition, which sought to explain natural phenomena in terms of alchemical and magical concepts.
The two traditions of natural philosophy, the mechanical and the Hermetic, antithetical though they appear, continued to influence his thought and in their tension supplied the fundamental theme of his scientific career.
he branched out into the other literature of modern analysis with its application of algebraic techniques to problems of geometry.
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A new set of notes, which he entitled “Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae” (“Certain Philosophical Questions”), begun sometime in 1664, usurped the unused pages of a notebook intended for traditional scholastic exercises; under the title he entered the slogan “Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas” (“Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth”). The “Quaestiones” reveal that Newton had discovered the new conception of nature that provided the framework of the scientific revolution.
He had thoroughly mastered the works of Descartes and had also discovered that the French philosopher Pierre Gassendi had revived atomism, an alternative mechanical system to explain nature.