Corpus ID: 39231938

Cotes’ Queries: Newton’s Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter

  title={Cotes’ Queries: Newton’s Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter},
  author={Zvi Biener and Christopher Smeenk},
We argue that a conflict between two conceptions of “quantity of matter” employed in a corollary to proposition 6 of Book III of the Principia illustrates a deeper conflict between Newton’s view of the nature of extended bodies and the concept of mass appropriate for the theoretical framework of the Principia. We trace Newton’s failure to recognize the conflict to the fact that he allowed for the justification of natural philosophical claims by two types of a posteriori, empiricist… Expand
Absolute, true and mathematical time in Newton’s Principia
I discuss the three distinctions “absolute and relative”, “true and apparent”, and “mathematical and common”, for the specific case of time in Newton’s Principia. I argue that all three distinctionsExpand
On reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the changes to the Principia☆
Abstract This paper argues for three distinct, albeit mutually illuminating theses: first it explains why well informed eighteenth-century thinkers, e.g., the pre-critical Immanuel Kant and RichardExpand
Newton’s substance monism, distant action, and the nature of Newton’s empiricism: discussion of H. Kochiras “Gravity and Newton’s substance counting problem”
Abstract This paper is a critical response to Hylarie Kochiras’ “Gravity and Newton’s substance counting problem,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40 (2009) 267–280. First, the paperExpand
De Gravitatione Reconsidered: hidelinks=true
  • 2016
I argue that Isaac Newton’s De Gravitatione should not be considered an authoritative expression of his thought about the metaphysics of space and its relation to physical inquiry. I establish theExpand
Gravity’s cause and substance counting: contextualizing the problems
Abstract This paper considers Newton’s position on gravity’s cause, both conceptually and historically. With respect to the historical question, I argue that while Newton entertained variousExpand
In defense of Newtonian induction: Hume’s problem of induction and the universalization of primary qualities
This paper aims to advance two claims. First, it aims to show that Hume’s argument against the rationality of induction is sound. However, I claim that the conclusion does not follow merely from theExpand
Causal Language and the Structure of Force in Newton’s System of the World
  • H. Kochiras
  • Physics
  • HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
  • 2013
Although Newton carefully eschews questions about gravity’s causal basis in the published Principia, the original version of his masterwork’s third book contains some intriguing causal language.Expand
On Newtonian Induction
This article examines Newton’s method of induction and its connection to methodological atomism. The article argues that Newton’s Rule III for the Study of Natural Philosophy is a criterion forExpand
Definitions more geometrarum and Newton's scholium on space and time
Abstract Newton's Principia begins with eight formal definitions and a scholium, the so-called scholium on space and time. Despite a history of misinterpretation, scholars now largely agree that theExpand
By ye divine arm: God and substance in De gravitatione
Abstract This article interprets Newton's De gravitatione as presenting a reductive account of substance, on which divine and created substances are identified with their characteristic attributes,Expand


Transmutation and Immutability: Newton's Doctrine of Physical Qualities
In the 1687 edition of Principia there appeared an interesting statement. Labelled Hypothesis III, it asserted that all bodies can transform into one another.1 There was no commentary added, and asExpand
Newton's New Way of Inquiry
Throughout his “scientific” career, extending from the mid-1660’s until his death sixty years later, Newton insisted on a sharp distinction between propositions that were firmly established byExpand
Tradition and Innovation: Newton's Metaphysics of Nature
Introduction: Tradition and Innovation. 1. Existence, actuality and necessity: Newton on space and time. 2. Atoms and the 'analogy of nature': Newton's third rule of philosophizing. 3. Body and voidExpand
Atoms and the ‘Analogy of Nature’: Newton’s Third Rule of Philosophizing
As in the case of ancient atomism, the revival of atomistic doctrines in the seventeenth century gave rise to questions regarding the existence and properties of primordial entities. With theirExpand
Newton and the Reality of Force
Newton's critics argued that his treatment of gravity in the Principia saddles him with a substantial dilemma. If he insists that gravity is a real force, he must invoke action at a distance becauseExpand
Isaac Newton’s Natural Philosophy
Newton studies have undergone radical changes in the last half-century as more of his work has been uncovered and more details of his life and intellectual context have come to light. This volumeExpand
Body and void and Newton's De Mundi systemate: Some new sources
The manuscripts in the Portsmouth collection amply testify to the fact that Newton from 1686 to the end of his life in 1727 was concerned to strengthen the basic principles of his Natural Philosophy.Expand
Newton's Principia : The Central Argument
Presents Newton's Principia not only to modern scholars of history of science, but also to nonspecialist undergraduate students of humanities. This title moves from Newton's definitions and axiomsExpand
The Philosophical Writings of Descartes: Index
These two 1985 volumes provide a translation of the philosophical works of Descartes, based on the best available Latin and French texts. They are intended to replace the only reasonablyExpand
Reading Natural Philosophy: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science and Mathematics
Professor Howard Stein has made contributions on a wide range of topics in the history and philosophy of science, with an emphasis on physics. Stein has published papers on early physicists andExpand