Thursday, August 20, 2009

Euler plagiarizes d'Alembert

"""[the volume] appeared with a series of articles by Euler including one on the precession of the equinoxes and three others on subjects that d'Alembert had enthusiatically described to Euler in their correspondence. D'Alembert quickly took alarm. All of his work was being stolen! Even his most important contribution, his book on the equinoxes, had not received a single mention from Euler.

D'Alembert was now thoroughly annoyed. Just at the time when his work with the Encyclopédie was achieving so much success, Euler apparently was not only obstructing his efforts, but also borrowing his ideas and claiming them as his own.""""

(American schoolkids learn of that good Berliner, Euler, but of d'Alembert--every bit as capable as Euler (d'Alembert's wave equation actually anticipates aspects of quantum theory)--they know little or nothing. Euler's good for business; the french encyclopedists are not. That wasn't always the case. Ben Franklin corresponded with d'Alembert, as our friends at the Infidels site remind us: "Franklin consorted chiefly with Freethinkers, among whom were Mirabeau, D'Holbach, D'Alembert, Buffon, and Condorcet. Respecting his religious belief, Parton classes him with Goethe, Schiller, Voltaire, Hume, and Jefferson, and says they would all have belonged to the same church."""

Franklin was not the only Framer who admired the French encyclopedists. Jefferson owned numerous texts of Voltaire, and kept a bust of Voltaire in his library at Monticello (it is still there)-- Bor-reeng to some in the Age of Tarentino, but a fact which serves as a correctio to those who consider the Founding Fathers squares, sunday-schoolers, or crypto-fascists (Voltaire was no deSadean nihilist, and consistently denounced military and monarchical despots, religious hypocrisy, and controls on the freedom of speech). John Adams, supposed conservative, took Le Grand Tour of France himself. Describing the embrace of Franklin and the aged Voltaire, he referred to Franklin and Voltaire as Solon and Sophocles (perhaps slightly ironic, but respectful). That nearly suffices as a counterargument to the biblethumpers who insist that orthodox Calvinists brought about the American revolution.

1 comment:

J said...

Don't mention logic, Texronius.

You don't know a syllogism from ...Subluxation, or modus ponens from yr mama. You've never read a page of Bertrand Russell in your life, dreck--and Russell detested hysterical, sentimental liberals as much as he did stalinists.

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