Isaac Newton Quotes

Isaac Newton

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Isaac Newton
(Letter to Robert Hooke, 1676)

It is the weight, not numbers of experiments that is to be regarded.

Isaac Newton

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

Isaac Newton

Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - Laws of Motion, 1687)

Philosophy is such an impertinently litigous lady that a man has as good be engaged in law suits as have to do with her.

Isaac Newton (Letter to Edmond Halley, 1685)

Nature is pleased with simplicity.

Isaac Newton (The Principia, 1687)

I do not define time, space, place, and motion, as being well known to all.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - Definitions, 1687)

It is the perfection of God's works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion.

Isaac Newton

To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.

Isaac Newton (The Principia, 1687)

Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.

Isaac Newton (Notes - Certain Philosophical Questions, 1664) 

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.

Isaac Newton

A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true, for if the things be false, the apprehension of them is not understanding.

Isaac Newton

Truth is the offspring of silence and unbroken meditation.

Isaac Newton

Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - Preface, 1687)

The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.

Isaac Newton (Opticks, 1730)

We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy, 1687)

To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.

Isaac Newton

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton

Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn; for it requires that the learner should first be taught to describe these accurately, before he enters upon geometry; then it shows how by these operations problems may be solved.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - Preface, 1687)

I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.

Isaac Newton (Letter to Robert Hooke, 1676)

No being exists or can exist which is not related to space in some way. God is everywhere, created minds are somewhere, and body is in the space that it occupies; and whatever is neither everywhere nor anywhere does not exist. And hence it follows that space is an effect arising from the first existence of being, because when any being is postulated, space is postulated.

Isaac Newton (Opticks, 1704)

What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature does nothing in vain: and whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world?...does it not appear from phenomena that there is a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent, who in infinite space, as it were in his Sensory, sees the things themselves intimately, and thoroughly perceives them, and comprehends them wholly.

Isaac Newton (Opticks, 1730)

Absolute space, of its own nature without reference to anything external, always remains homogenous and immovable. Relative space is any movable measure or dimension of this absolute space; such a measure or dimension is determined by our senses from the situation of the space with respect to bodies and is popularly used for immovable space, as in the case of space under the earth or in the air or in the heavens, where the dimension is determined from the situation of the space with respect to the earth. Absolute and relative space are the same in species and in magnitude, but they do not always remain the same numerically. For example, if the earth moves, the space of our air, which in a relative sense and with respect to the earth always remains the same, will now be one part of the absolute space into which the air passes, now another part of it, and thus will be changing continually in an absolute sense.

Isaac Newton (The Principia - 3rd Edition, 1726)

Isaac Newton Biography

Born: December 25, 1642
Died: March 20, 1727

Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist and philosopher. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential scientists that has ever lived, and also known for his esoteric ideas.

Notable Works

Method of Fluxions (1671)
On the Motion of Bodies in an Orbit (1684)
The Principia (1687)
Opticks (1704)