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The Contributions Of Isaac Newton Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Of all of the early scientists of the scientific revolution I am most
impressed by Sir Isaac Newton. Newton is important because he
contributed more to the development of science than any other person
in history. Isaac Newton is remembered as the greatest scientific
genius who ever lived. His discoveries about physics, light, and
mathematics changed the world. I am even more impressed by what he
overcame to reach his goals. He came to surpass even his own
expectations. I am more impressed with the man than with the
discoveries. So many people in history are viewed as larger than life,
which can be dehumanizing. Newton was very much a human with very
human emotions. Isaac Newton came from a family of farmers. His father
dies three months before he was born. Isaac's father was a wealthy
landowner but was uneducated and could not even sign his own name.
Isaac did not lead a privileged life; he was basically treated like an
orphan. Isaac had a very unhappy childhood. Isaac is only ten when his
grandfather, James, dies and James left him nothing in his will. There
is also no doubt that Isaac felt very bitter towards his mother and
stepfather. When he was reflecting on his sins at age 19 he wrote:
"Threatening my father and mother to burn them and the house over
them." Upon the death of his stepfather, Isaac lived with his extended
family including his mother, grandmother, half-brother and two
half-sisters. Shortly after this time Isaac began attending the Free
Grammar School in Garntham. His school reports described him as "idle"
and "inattentive". His mother, a lady of wealth and property, thought
that Isaac was the right person to manage her estate and removed him
from school. Soon Isaac showed no interest in managing the estate so
an Uncle convinced his mother to let him continue his education. Isaac
was allowed to return to the Free Grammar School to complete his
education. From there he went to Trinity College Cambridge in 1661. He
was older than most of the other students. Despite the fact that his
mother was very well off he was entered as a sizar, a student who
receives and allowance toward college expenses for acting as a servant
to another student. Isaac's goal at Cambridge was a law degree.
Education at Cambridge was dominated by the philosophy of Aristotle.
He also studied the philosophy of Gassendi, Hobbes, Descartes, and
Boyle. He was attracted to the mechanics of Coperican astronomy of
Galileo. He also studied Keeper's Optics. Isaac wrote his thoughts in
a journal which he called Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae (Certain
Philosophical Questions). It is an account of how Newton's brilliant
ideas were already forming. The text was headed with a Latin statement
which read "Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best
friend is truth" presenting himself as a free...

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