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200 Best Isaac Newton Quotes: Inspiring, Insightful (2023)

1. IF I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.


2. No old Men (excepting Dr. Wallis) love Mathematicks.


3. He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.


4. To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me


5. If I have come further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.


6. Amicus Plato — amicus Aristoteles — magis amica veritas. (Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.)


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


8. If I have done great things it's because I was standing in the closet of smart men taking notes and then publishing their ideas as my own.


9. I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people.


10. A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.


11. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.


12. If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent


13. If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.


14. Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity. He replied,


15. To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age


16. I have studied these things - you have not.


17. Tis much better to do a little with certainty & leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.


18. If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.


19. Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation


20. Whence arises all that order and beauty we see in the world?


21. What goes up must come down.


22. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.


23. And to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction


24. They who search after the Philosopher's Stone [are] by their own rules obliged to a strict and religious life.


25. Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.


26. There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible that in any profane history


27. Yet one thing secures us what ever betide, the scriptures assures us that the Lord will provide.


28. This most elegant system of the sun, planets, and comets could not have arisen without the design and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.


29. What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.


30. Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.


31. Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.


32. Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy


33. Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.


34. The more time and devotion one spends in the worship of false gods, the less he is able to spend in that of the True One.


35. You have to make the rules, not follow them


36. For I see not what there is desirable in publick esteeme, were I able to acquire & maintaine it. It would perhaps increase my acquaintance, the thing which I chiefly study to decline.


37. Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.


38. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.


39. 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.


40. No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.


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


42. “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.”


43. “A man may imagine things that are false, but he can only understand things that are true.”


44. “A Vulgar Mechanick can practice what he has been taught or seen done, but if he is in an error he knows not how to find it out and correct it, and if you put him out of his road he is at a stand. Whereas he that is able to reason nimbly and judiciously about figure, force, and motion, is never at rest till he gets over every rub.


45. “Amicus Plato — amicus Aristoteles — magis amica veritas. (Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.)”


46. “Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas.”


47. “and to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction”


48. “As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things”


49. “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”


50. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”


51. “For I see not what there is desirable in publick esteeme, were I able to acquire & maintaine it. It would perhaps increase my acquaintance, the thing which I chiefly study to decline.”


52. “God who gave Animals self motion beyond our understanding is without doubt able to implant other principles of motion in bodies [which] we may understand as little. Some would readily grant this may be a Spiritual one; yet a mechanical one might be showne, did not I think it better to pass it by.”


53. “God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing.”


54. “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.”


55. “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”


56. “He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.”


57. “How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, and for what ends were their several parts?


58. “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people.”


59. “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”


60. “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 sea-shore, 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.”


61. “I have studied these things - you have not.”


62. “If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.”


63. “If I have done great things it's because I was standing in the closet of smart men taking notes and then publishing their ideas as my own.”


64. “If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent”


65. “If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.”


66. “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”


67. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”


68. “If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get


69. “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence.”


70. “Les hommes construisent trop de murs et pas assez de ponts. ”


71. “Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation”


72. “Lo que sabemos es una gota de agua; lo que ignoramos es un océano.”


73. “Los hombres construimos demasiados muros y no suficientes puentes.”


74. “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”


75. “No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.”


76. “Opposite to [Godliness] is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practise. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped (except in their bowels), and just two eyes and no more on either side of the face, and just two ears on either side of the head, and a nose with two holes and no more between the eyes, and one mouth under the nose, and either two fore legs or two wings or two arms on the sholders and two legs on the hips, one on either side and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivance of an author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, and within transparent juices with a crystalline lens in the middle and a pupil before the lens, all of them so truly shaped and fitted for vision that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These and such like considerations always have and ever will prevail with mankind to believe that there is a being who made all things and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared.”


77. “Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.”


78. “Resistance is usually ascribed to bodies at rest, and impulse to those in motion; but motion and rest, as commonly conceived, are only relatively distinguished; nor are those bodies always truly at rest, which commonly are taken to be so.”


79. “Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity. He replied, "By thinking about it all the time.”


80. “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”


81. “Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”


82. “The more time and devotion one spends in the worship of false gods, the less he is able to spend in that of the True One.”


83. “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible that in any profane history”


84. “They who search after the Philosopher's Stone [are] by their own rules obliged to a strict and religious life.”


85. “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being...


86. “This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of Philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my Readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book.”


87. “Tis much better to do a little with certainty & leave the rest for others that come after than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”


88. “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.”


89. “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 than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”


90. “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age”


91. “To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me”


92. “Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his prescription.”


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


94. “Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait 'til the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”


95. “What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”


96. “What goes up must come down.”


97. “What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean.”


98. “What we know is a drop. What we don't know is an ocean.”


99. “Whence arises all that order and beauty we see in the world?”


100. “Yet one thing secures us what ever betide, the scriptures assures us that the Lord will provide.”


101. “You have to make the rules, not follow them”


102. A Heavenly Master governs all the world as Sovereign of the universe. We are astonished at Him by reason of His perfection, we honor Him and fall down before Him because of His unlimited power. From blind physical necessity, which is always and everywhere the same, no variety adhering to time and place could evolve, and all variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, Whom I call the Lord God.


103. About the times of the End, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.”


104. Absolute space, in its own nature, without regard to anything external, remains always similar and immovable. Relative space is some movable dimension or measure of the absolute spaces, which our senses determine by its position to bodies, and which is vulgarly taken for immovable space.


105. All knowledge and understanding of the Universe was no more than playing with stones and shells on the seashore of the vast imponderable ocean of truth.


106. All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer.


107. All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the 'Lord God.'


108. An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.


109. An object that is at rest will tend to remain at rest. An object that is in motion will tend to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.


110. And to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction.


111. Are not rays of light very small bodies emitted from shining substances?


112. As a blind man has no idea of colors, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.


113. Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.


114. Christ comes as a thief in the night, & it is not for us to know the times & seasons which God hath put into his own breast.


115. Don’t doubt the Creator because it is inconceivable that accidents alone could be the controller of this universe.


116. English - Mathematician December 25, 1642 - March 20, 1727


117. Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.


118. Errors are not in the art but in the artificers. - Isaac Newton


119. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction


120. F I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants.


121. Fidelity and allegiance sworn to the King is only such a fidelity and obedience as is due to him by the law of the land; for were that faith and allegiance more than what the law requires, we would swear ourselves slaves and the King absolute; whereas, by the law, we are free men, notwithstanding those oaths.


122. God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.


123. God is the same God, always and everywhere. He is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially, for virtue cannot subsist without substance.


124. God made and governs the world invisibly, and has commanded us to love and worship him and no other God; to honor our parents and masters, and love our neighbours as ourselves; and to be temperate, just, and peaceable, and to be merciful even to brute beasts.


125. God' is a relative word and has a respect to servants, and 'Deity' is the dominion of God, not over his own body, as those imagine who fancy God to be the soul of the world, but over servants.


126. Gravity may put the planets into motion, but without the divine Power, it could never put them into such a circulating motion as they have about the Sun; and therefore, for this as well as other reasons, I am compelled to ascribe the frame of this System to an intelligent Agent.


127. Gravity must be caused by an Agent acting constantly according to certain laws, but whether this Agent be material or immaterial I have left to the consideration of my readers.


128. Human Nature : An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective, Vol. 1, Issues 7-12, p. 47, 1978.


129. Hypotheses should be subservient only in explaining the properties of things but not assumed in determining them, unless so far as they may furnish experiments.


130. I believe the more I study science, the more I believe in God.


131. I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.


132. I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore.


133. 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.


134. 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 now and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.


135. I do not love to be printed on every occasion, much less to be dunned and teased by foreigners about mathematical things or to be thought by our own people to be trifling away my time about them when I should be about the king's business.


136. I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.


137. I have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the force of gravity, but I have not yet assigned a cause to gravity.


138. I know not how I seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with while the vast ocean of undiscovered truth lay before me.


139. I there represent that I sent notice of my method to Mr. Leibnitz before he sent notice of his method to me, and left him to make it appear that he had found his method before the date of my letter.


140. If a projectile were deprived of the force of gravity, it would not be deflected toward the earth but would go off in a straight line into the heavens and do so with uniform motion, provided that the resistance of the air were removed.


141. If anyone offers conjectures about the truth of things from the mere possibility of hypotheses, I do not see by what stipulation anything certain can be determined in any science, since one or another set of hypotheses may always be devised which will appear to supply new difficulties.


142. If I had stayed for other people to make my tools and things for me, I had never made anything.


143. If I have done the public any service, it is due to my patient thought.


144. If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.


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


146. If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton


147. If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get similar results.


148. If the experiments which I urge be defective, it cannot be difficult to show the defects; but if valid, then by proving the theory, they must render all objections invalid.


149. In experimental philosophy, we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur by which they may either be made more accurate or liable to exceptions.


150. In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence.


151. In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.


152. In the beginning of the year 1665, I found the method of approximating series and the rule for reducing any dignity of any binomial into such a series.


153. Infinites, when considered absolutely without any restriction or limitation, are neither equal nor unequal, nor have any certain proportion one to another, and therefore, the principle that all infinites are equal is a precarious one.


154. Inspirational, Live Your Life, Explanation


155. Inspirational, Teamwork, Humility


156. Isaac Newton (1994). “Trattato sull Apocalisse”


157. Isaac Newton: A Biography. Book by Louis Trenchard More, 1934.


158. Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist, and Teacher. Book by John Hudson Tiner, 1975.


159. It is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent because the parts of that immovable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses.


160. It is reasonable that forces directed toward bodies depend on the nature and the quantity of matter of such bodies, as happens in the case of magnetic bodies.


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


162. It may be that there is no such thing as an equable motion, whereby time may be accurately measured. All motions may be accelerated or retarded, but the true, or equable, progress of absolute time is liable to no change.


163. It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles.


164. Just as the system of the sun, planets and comets is put in motion by the forces of gravity, and its parts persist in their motions, so the smaller systems of bodies also seem to be set in motion by other forces and their particles to be variously moved in relation to each other and, especially, by the electric force.


165. Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation.


166. My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success.


167. Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.


168. Nature is very consonant and conformable with herself.


169. Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton. Book by Richard S. Westfall, p. 643, 1983.


170. Nothing can be divided into more parts than it can possibly be constituted of. But matter (i.e. finite) cannot be constituted of infinite parts.


171. Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors.


172. Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors. - Isaac Newton


173. Pictures, propagated by motion along the fibers of the optic nerves in the brain, are the cause of vision.


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


175. Poetry is a kind of ingenious nonsense.


176. Principia Mathematica' (1713 ed.) 'Scholium Generale'


177. Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Book by Isaac Newton, p. 27, February 3, 2011.


178. Religion and philosophy are to be preserved distinct. We are not to introduce divine revelations into philosophy, nor philosophical opinions into religion.


179. Resistance is usually ascribed to bodies at rest, and impulse to those in motion, but motion and rest, as commonly conceived, are only relatively distinguished; nor are those bodies always truly at rest, which commonly are taken to be so.


180. Sir Isaac Newton (1950). “Theological Manuscripts: Selected and Edited with an Introd. by H. McLachlan”


181. Sir Isaac Newton (2012). “Newton's Philosophy of Nature: Selections from His Writings”, p.99, Courier Corporation


182. Sir Isaac Newton was asked how he discovered the law of gravity. He replied, "By thinking about it all the time.


183. Sir Isaac Newton, 1642 – 1747


184. That the divided but contiguous particles of bodies may be separated from one another is a matter of observation; and, in the particles that remain undivided, our minds are able to distinguish yet lesser parts, as is mathematically demonstrated.


185. The ancients considered mechanics in a twofold respect: as rational, which proceeds accurately by demonstration, and practical. To practical mechanics all the manual arts belong, from which mechanics took its name.


186. The best and safest method of philosophizing seems to be first to inquire diligently into the properties of things, and establishing those properties by experiments, and then to proceed more slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them.


187. The centre of the system of the world is immovable.


188. The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.


189. The hypothesis of matter's being at first evenly spread through the heavens is, in my opinion, inconsistent with the hypothesis of innate gravity without a supernatural power to reconcile them, and therefore, it infers a deity.


190. The Ignis Fatuus is a vapor shining without heat.


191. The moon gravitates towards the earth and by the force of gravity is continually drawn off from a rectilinear motion and retained in its orbit.


192. The motions of the comets are exceedingly regular, and they observe the same laws as the motions of the planets, but they differ from the motions of vortices in every particular and are often contrary to them.


193. The motions which the planets now have could not spring from any natural cause alone, but were impressed by an intelligent Agent.


194. The proper method for inquiring after the properties of things is to deduce them from experiments.


195. The same law takes place in a system, consisting of many bodies, as in one single body, with regard to their persevering in their state of motion or of rest. For the progressive motion, whether of one single body or of a whole system of bodies, is always to be estimated from the motion of the center of gravity.


196. The same thing is to be understood of all bodies, revolved in any orbits. They all endeavour to recede from the centres of their orbits, and were it not for the opposition of a contrary force which restrains them to and detains them in their orbits, which I therefore call Centripetal, would fly off in right lines with a uniform motion.


197. The smaller the planets are, they are, other things being equal, of so much the greater density; for so the powers of gravity on their several surfaces come nearer to equality. They are likewise, other things being equal, of the greater density, as they are nearer to the sun.


198. The word 'God' usually signifies 'Lord', but every lord is not a God. It is the dominion of a spiritual being which constitutes a God: a true, supreme, or imaginary dominion makes a true, supreme, or imaginary God.


199. There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible that in any profane history.


200. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont, to be called Lord God παντοκρατωρ or Universal Ruler.”

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