Intellectual Fights.

Here‘s an interesting overview (by Britney Wilkins) of intellectual fights – my favorite, of course, is this one:


5. Newton vs. Leibniz: Fluxions and Fluents

Sir Isaac Newton was an intellectual scrapper of considerable repute who was never shy of throwing power around or taking ideas and data from others without attribution. The long fight between Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over who discovered calculus is the most famous. Leibniz was unarguably the first to publish on the subjects of differential and integral calculus, 20 years before Newton. Yet letters from Newton expounding his theories of “fluxional” calculus exactly coincide with Leibniz’s work. A major scientific bruhaha ensued, with defenders in both camps. Leibniz appealed to the Royal Society, allowing Newton as its president to appoint the investigating committee from among his friends, and even to write the committee’s report accusing Leibniz of plagiarism. Historians of science now credit both Leibniz and Newton with the discovery of calculus, probably because neither Newton nor Leibniz are around to argue about it any more.


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