Where can I find the report on the Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy mentioned in this article?

In 1712 the Royal Society in England wrote a report purporting to settle the matter — except, the whole investigation was effectively directed by Newton himself. The report found that Leibniz had concealed his knowledge of Newton's work — based on facts now known to be false.

I have found numerous places online where it is discussed, but not the actual text.


1 Answer 1


At request of Leibniz himself, the Royal Society appointed a commission which had the task of dealing with a dispute that followed an article by John Keill published in 1710 in "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society", about centripetal forces, in which the author not only claimed the priority of Newton in the discovery of calculus, but also accused Leibniz of plagiarism.

In 1712 the commission published the Commercium epistolicum, which gathered documents about the controversy and the report of the Royal Society, in which Keill's statements were judged valid. $^1$

There are several editions of the Commercium.

A 1856 edition is:

Commercium epistolicum D.J. Collins et aliorum de Analiysi promota: Jussu Societatis Regiae in lucem editum: et iam cum eisudem recensione praemissa, et iudicio primari, ut ferebatur, Matematici subiuncto, iterum impresum. Ou correspondance de J.Cloons et d'autres savants célèbres du XVII siècle, relative à l'Analyse supérieure, reémprimée sur l'édition original de 1712, avec l'indication des variantes de l'édition de 1722, complétée par une collection de pièces justificatives et de documents, et publiée par J. B. Biot et F. Lefort. Mallet et Bachelier, Paris, 1856.

In this edition the Report of The Royal Society in on page 182.$^2$

You can see it, for instance, here:


Other editions can be seen here (the 1722 edition):


or here:


Another edition of the Commercium is included in Newton, I., Opera quae extant omnia, Nichols, London 1782.

You can see here:


or here:


An Italian translation of the Report of the Royal Society, based on 1856 edition, is in Cantelli, G., (ed.), La disputa Leibniz-Newton sull'analisi , mentioned in the footnotes, p. 151.

$^1$ See Cantelli, G. (ed.), Giusti, E. (intr.), La disputa Leibniz-Newton sull'analisi, Bollati Borighieri, 2006.

$^2$ Cantelli, cit. p. XXXV.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.