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  1. Gravity and De Gravitatione: The Development of Newton’s Ideas on Action at a Distance.John Henry - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):11-27.
    This paper is in three sections. The first establishes that Newton, in spite of a well-known passage in a letter to Richard Bentley of 1692, did believe in action at a distance. Many readers may see this merely as an act of supererogation, since it is so patently obvious that he did. However, there has been a long history among Newton scholars of allowing the letter to Bentley to over-ride all of Newton’s other pronouncements in favour of action at a (...)
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  • The Certainty, Modality, and Grounding of Newton’s Laws.Zvi Biener & Eric Schliesser - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):311-325.
    Newton began his Principia with three Axiomata sive Leges Motus. We offer an interpretation of Newton’s dual label and investigate two tensions inherent in his account of laws. The first arises from the juxtaposition of Newton’s confidence in the certainty of his laws and his commitment to their variability and contingency. The second arises because Newton ascribes fundamental status both to the laws and to the bodies and forces they govern. We argue the first is resolvable, but the second is (...)
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  • The Mechanical Philosophy and Newton’s Mechanical Force.Hylarie Kochiras - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (4):557-578.
    How does Newton approach the challenge of mechanizing gravity and, more broadly, natural philosophy? By adopting the simple machine tradition’s mathematical approach to a system’s co-varying parameters of change, he retains natural philosophy’s traditional goal while specifying it in a novel way as the search for impressed forces. He accordingly understands the physical world as a divinely created machine possessing intrinsically mathematical features, and mathematical methods as capable of identifying its real features. The gravitational force’s physical cause remains an outstanding (...)
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  • About God in Newton's Correspondence with Richard Bentley and Queries in Opticks.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    In Newton’s correspondence with Richard Bentley, Newton rejected the possibility of remote action, even though he accepted it in the Principia. Practically, Newton’s natural philosophy is indissolubly linked to his conception of God. The knowledge of God seems to be essentially immutable, unlike the laws of nature that can be subjected to refining, revision and rejection procedures. As Newton later states in Opticks, the cause of gravity is an active principle in matter, but this active principle is not an essential (...)
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  • Isaac Newton despre acțiunea mediată.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Interpretarea textelor lui Isaac Newton a suscitat numeroase controverse, până în zilele noastre. Una din cele mai aprinse dezbateri este legată de acțiunea între două corpuri aflate la distanță unul de celălalt (atracția gravitațională), și în ce măsură Newton a implicat pe Dumnezeu în acest caz. Practic, majoritatea lucrărilor discută patru tipuri de atracții gravitaționale în cazul corpurilor aflate la distanță: acțiunea la distanță directă ca proprietate intrinsecă a corpurilor în sens epicurian; acțiunea la distanță directă mediată divin, de Dumnezeu; (...)
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  • Review of Omri Boehm’s Kant’s Critique of Spinoza. [REVIEW]Eric Schliesser - 2015 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 36 (2):463-483.
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  • John Locke, ‘Hobbist’: Of Sleeping Souls and Thinking Matter.Liam P. Dempsey - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):454-476.
    In this paper, I consider Isaac Newton’s fevered accusation that John Locke is a ‘Hobbist.’ I suggest a number of ways in which Locke’s account of the mind–body relation could plausibly be construed as Hobbesian. Whereas Newton conceives of the human mind as an immaterial substance and venerates it as a finite image of the Divine Mind, I argue that Locke utterly deflates the religious, ethical, and metaphysical significance of an immaterial soul. Even stronger, I contend that there is good (...)
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  • Newton and Spinoza: On Motion and Matter (and God, of Course).Eric Schliesser - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):436-458.
    This study explores several arguments against Spinoza's philosophy that were developed by Henry More, Samuel Clarke, and Colin Maclaurin. In the arguments on which I focus, More, Clarke, and Maclaurin aim to establish the existence of an immaterial and intelligent God precisely by showing that Spinoza does not have the resources to adequately explain the origin of motion. Attending to these criticisms grants us a deeper appreciation for how the authority derived from the empirical success of Newton's enterprise was used (...)
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  • The Methodological Dimension of the Newtonian Revolution: Steffen Ducheyne: The Main Business of Natural Philosophy: Isaac Newton’s Natural-Philosophical Methodology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012, 352pp, €118,99 HB.Eric Schliesser - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):329-333.
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  • Newtonian Emanation, Spinozism, Measurement and the Baconian Origins of the Laws of Nature.Eric Schliesser - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (3):449-466.
    The first two sections of this paper investigate what Newton could have meant in a now famous passage from “De Graviatione” (hereafter “DeGrav”) that “space is as it were an emanative effect of God.” First it offers a careful examination of the four key passages within DeGrav that bear on this. The paper shows that the internal logic of Newton’s argument permits several interpretations. In doing so, the paper calls attention to a Spinozistic strain in Newton’s thought. Second it sketches (...)
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  • Gravity’s Cause and Substance Counting: Contextualizing the Problems.Hylarie Kochiras - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):167-184.
    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 various hypotheses about gravity’s cause, he never endorsed any of them, and in particular, his lack of confidence in the hypothesis of robust and unmediated distant action by matter is explained by an inclination toward certain metaphysical principles. The conceptual problem about gravity’s cause, which I identified earlier along with a deeper problem about individuating substances, is (...)
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  • Three Concepts of Causation in Newton.Andrew Janiak - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):396-407.
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  • On Reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the Changes to the Principia.Eric Schliesser - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):416-428.
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  • Gravity’s Cause and Substance Counting: Contextualizing the Problems.Hylarie Kochiras - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):167-184.
    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 various hypotheses about gravity’s cause, he never endorsed any of them, and in particular, his lack of confidence in the hypothesis of robust and unmediated distant action by matter is explained by an inclination toward certain metaphysical principles. The conceptual problem about gravity’s cause, which I identified earlier along with a deeper problem about individuating substances, is (...)
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  • Newton’s “Satis Est”: A New Explanatory Role for Laws.Lina Jansson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):553-562.
    In this paper I argue that Newton’s stance on explanation in physics was enabled by his overall methodology and that it neither committed him to embrace action at a distance nor to set aside philosophical and metaphysical questions. Rather his methodology allowed him to embrace a non-causal, yet non-inferior, kind of explanation. I suggest that Newton holds that the theory developed in the Principia provides a genuine explanation, namely a law-based one, but that we also lack something explanatory, namely a (...)
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  • Philosophy and Science in Adam Smith’s ‘History of Astronomy’.Kwangsu Kim - 2017 - History of the Human Sciences 30 (3):107-130.
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