What does this Hawking guy know, anyway?

13 June 2006

Philisophiae Naturalis Pricipia Mathematica, probably the most important single work ever published in the physical sciences.

So says Stephen Hawking, no less, in A Brief History of Time. Is this work by Newton important and influential compared to say, Fredrick Douglass? What does it teach us about being human, even if it explicitly defines the human universe? What does it say that we can point to specific works that tell us about everything else, but no single system of thought, let alone single idea, book, or religion, that tells us about ourselves. Why don’t we understant us?

Is that the most important thing out there?

Can we face trying to answer it?

And, just to muddy the waters a bit, the following:

Nothing ever sells a book except for a fit of collective insanity on the part of the public.
-Richard Aldington

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