The Method of Fluxions and Infinite Series; with its Application to the Geometry of Curve-lines. Translated from the author's Latin original not yet made publick. To which is subjoin'd, a perpetual comment upon the whole work, consisting of annotations, illustrations, and supplements, in order to make this treatise a compleat institution for the use of learners. By John Colson.
London: Printed by Henry Woodfall; and sold by John Nourse, 1736.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003241
4to (245 x 185 mm). iv, ix-xxiv, 1-140 , -,  144-339 ,  pp. Engraved plate bound as frontispiece facing title, several woodcut diagrams in text, woodcut initials, head-and tailpices, divisional title, errata/advertisement leaf [T]2 here bound at the end. Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine and boards ruled in gilt, gilt-lettered morocco spine label, original endpapers preserved, red-sprinkled edges (minor repair to hinges and portion of upper board leather, hinges partially cracked but cords holding firmly, minor wear to corners and spine ends). Frontispiece slightly brown-stained at fore-margin, text with occasional faint spotting, but generally very clean and crisp throughout. Provenance: Jan Sniadecki* (neat inscription on title page). A fine copy in original binding. ----
Babson 171; Norman 1595; Wallis 232; Honeyman 2427. FIRST EDITION. Newton's Methodus Fluxionum was originally prepared in 1671, but remained unpublished until this English translation by John Colson. In it he presents a method of determining the magnitudes of finite quantities by the velocities of their generating motions. Newton prepared this treatise for the use of learners just before his death and entrusted the Latin manuscript to Henry Pemberton, who never published it. The original text was not published in Latin until 1779. "Written in 1671, Newton's Fluxions is a key document in the controversy over whether Newton or Leibnitz had priority in discovering differential calculus. Newton did not publish anything on the calculus until after 1700, whereas Leibnitz began publishing papers on the subject in 1684; however, Leibnitz's manuscript notes on the calculus date back only to 1673, eight years after Newton began investigating the subject. By 1671, Newton was in a position to give his clearest statement to date of the fundamental problem of the calculus, and to present a successful general method. The second half of Fluxions is occupied by John Colson's 'perpetual comment' on Newton's work; however, Wallis mentions an issue (Wallis 232.1) without Colson's commentary" (Norman 1595). Colson writes in his preface to the present work: "I thought it highly injurious to the memory and reputation of the great Author, as well as invidious to the glory of our own Nation, that so curious and useful a piece should be any longer suppress'd and confined to a few private hands."
*Jan Śniadecki (1756-1830) was a Polish mathematician, philosopher and astronomer. He independently discovered dwarf planet Pallas in 1802.
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