Forces in a true and physical sense: from mathematical models to metaphysical conclusions

Synthese 198 (2):1109-1122 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Wilson [Dialectica 63:525–554, 2009], Moore [Int Stud Philos Sci 26:359–380, 2012], and Massin [Br J Philos Sci 68:805–846, 2017] identify an overdetermination problem arising from the principle of composition in Newtonian physics. I argue that the principle of composition is a red herring: what’s really at issue are contrasting metaphysical views about how to interpret the science. One of these views—that real forces are to be tied to physical interactions like pushes and pulls—is a superior guide to real forces than the alternative, which demands that real forces are tied to “realized” accelerations. Not only is the former view employed in the actual construction of Newtonian models, the latter is both unmotivated and inconsistent with the foundations and testing of the science.

Author's Profile

Corey Dethier
Leibniz University Hanover

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-01-12

Downloads
123 (#53,705)

6 months
58 (#21,409)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?