Catalogue Entry: THEM00092

'Quæstiones quædam Philosophiæ' ('Certain Philosophical Questions')

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MS Add. 3996, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text] [Manuscript Images]


On front flyleaf: 'Isaac Newton/ Trin: Coll Cant/ 1661', and, in Thomas Pellet's hand: Sep. 25 1727/ Not fit to be printed/ T: Pellet'. Written from both ends: the foliation, which was added later (probably by University Library staff) starts from the front (30 ff. including the front flyleaf as f. 1) and resumes from the back (ff. 31-140).

ff. 3-15 Greek notes from Aristotle's Organon.

ff. 16-26r Latin notes from Johannes Magirus's Physiologiæ peripateticæ.

ff. 26v-30v English notes on astronomy.

[from back of book:]

ff. 34r-81v Greek and Latin notes from various sources.

ff. 83r-v English notes on Descartes.

ff. 87r-135r 'Questiones quædam Philosophcæ [sic]', in English. Notes on a huge range of topics relating to natural philosophy and reflecting the development of Newton's personal and largely extra-curricular interests during his student years. Some of the last entries ('Of God', f. 128, 'Of ye Creation', f. 129, 'Of ye soule', f. 130) introduce a theological note.

The last section (ff. 87-135) is reproduced (in both diplomatic and modernised transcriptions), with an extensive introduction and commentary, in McGuire and Tamny, Certain Philosophical Questions (text on pp. 329-465). See also the detailed discussion in Westfall, Never at Rest, 89-97.

[1] vide pag 54

[2] pag 67

[3] vid: pag: 75

[4] vide pag 26 & 49.

[5] vide pag 26 47

[6] vid pag 21

[7] vid pag 10

[8] vide pag 3.

[9] vide pag 43.

[10] see pag 32

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Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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