Isaac Newton’s Political Antagonist, Jonathan Swift

Eugene Hammond
B204 Academic Building


Two towering geniuses lived in England during the late 17th and the early 18th century, Isaac Newton and Jonathan Swift. I will first introduce Swift, perhaps less familiar to those attending a colloquium series in mathematics, through excerpts from his Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents and for Making them Beneficial to the Public, and his Travels into several Remote Areas of the World, by Lemuel Gulliver. Then I will note Swift’s fascinating encounters, personal and political, with Newton, read a few entertaining excerpts from Swift’s life, and share several examples of Swift’s unique humor. Plenty of time will be set aside for questions.