Resistance to Newton in the Dutch Republic: From Ruardus Andala to Nicolaus Engelhard


With towering figures such as Herman Boerhaave, Willem Jacob ’s Gravesande and Petrus van Musschenbroek, the Dutch Republic is often considered to have rapidly welcomed Isaac Newton’s natural philosophical works and methods.

This view neglects the fact that Newton's natural philosophical work and methods were also heavily criticised in the Dutch Republic. For instance, in 1718 Ruardus Andala attacked Boerhaave's ‘Sermo academicus de comparando certo in physicis’ (1715). Later Nicolaas Hartsoeker and Nicolaus Engelhard also attacked Newton's work.

These interesting figures are nowadays mostly forgotten. The primary aim of this project is to gain more understanding of the ideas and arguments of the abovementioned anti-Newtonians (or of that of other Dutch anti-Newtonians).



Researcher: n.n.