…on the shoulders of giants…

Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes) is a Western metaphor with a contemporary interpretation meaning “one who discovers by building on previous discoveries”.

Its most familiar expression is found in the letters of Isaac Newton:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants

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