Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Social Imaginaiton of Sir Isaac Newton

We have yet to consider how different the world would be if we had only followed the social imagination of Sir Isaac Newton.

Not many people know that Isaac Newton was a devout Christian who wrote extensively about Christianity. We learn from his writings that he deeply studied the Bible along with writings of early Christian leaders. Newton’s understanding of God came primarily from the Bible. He took special interest in miracles and prophecy, calculating dates of Old Testament books and analyzing their texts to discover their authorship. In a manuscript on rules for interpreting prophecy, Newton noted the similar goals of the scientist and the prophecy expositor: simplicity and unity. He condemned the “folly of interpreters who foretell times and things by prophecy,” since the purpose of prophecy was to demonstrate God’s providence in history when “after [prophecies] were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by events.” http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1991/issue30/3038.html

Newton actively engaged in the mind was determined to understand the mathematics of his own time and those before his time. The reason was simple. To discover something more about himself and others in this place we call social reality. There is no other reason. There is no reason to point out a new star in the heavens just to say it is there because you see it. You/we point things out as did Newton because someone else is there to share it with and in this way we better understand ourselves in terms of who we are in this world which is only understood through social interaction. Mathematics is about relationships, so are human beings.

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