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Seduced by Logic: Emilie Du Chatelet, Mary Somervi
by Robyn Arianrhod

ISBN: 9780702237386
PUBLISHER: University of Queensland Press
FORMAT: Paperback
PAGES: 352

Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica changed forever humanity's understanding of its place in the universe - not with the traditional tools of theology or philosophy but with the seductive logic of mathematics. Emilie du Chatelet's brilliant translation of Newton's opus unlocked the underlying 'mechanism of the heavens', exposing the Principia to the revolutionary fervour of Enlightenment France. Together with her lover Voltaire, the feisty French aristocrat thrust mathematics into the exciting mix of science, literature, politics and philosophy that defined the Enlightenment. One hundred years later, in Scotland, Mary Somerville taught herself mathematics and rose from the lower middle-class to become a world authority on Newtonian physics, helping to bring the extraordinary continental development of Newton's work back to an English-speaking audience. These gifted mathematicians offer first-hand perspectives on the intimate links between the Newtonian revolution and the origins of intellectual and political liberty. Seduced by Logic is a thrilling foray into the lives and loves of two pioneering women of science, and the ideas that seduced them both.

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