I consider natural philosophy rather than arts and write not concerning manual but natural powers, and consider chiefly those things which relate to gravity, levity, elastic force, the resistance of fluids, and the like forces, whether attractive or impulsive; and therefore I offer this work as the mathematical principles of natural philosophy, for the whole burden of philosophy seems to consist in this - from the phenomena of motions to investigate the forces of nature, and then from these forces to demonstrate the other phenomena. ...
I wish we could derive ... the phenomena of Nature ... from mechanical principles, for I am induced by many reasons to suspect that they all may depend upon certain forces by which the particles of bodies, by some causes hitherto unknown, are either mutually impelled towards one another, and cohere in regular figures, or are repelled and recede from one another. These forces being unknown, philosophers have hitherto attempted the search of Nature in vain; but I hope the principles here laid down will afford some light either to this or some truer method of natural philosophy.
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