Cartesianism and the Kinematics of Mechanisms: Or, How to find Fixed Reference Frames in a Cartesian Space-time

Noûs 32 (3):364-385 (1998)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In De gravitatione, Newton contends that Descartes' physics is fundamentally untenable since the "fixed" spatial landmarks required to ground the concept of inertial motion cannot be secured in the constantly changing Cartesian plenum. Likewise, it is has often been alleged that the collision rules in Descartes' Principles of Philosophy undermine the "relational" view of space and motion advanced in this text. This paper attempts to meet these challenges by investigating the theory of connected gears (or "kinematics of mechanisms") for a potential Cartesian method of positing the permanent reference frames necessary to uphold Descartes' conservation law for the quantity of motion. In particular, the insights gained from an examination of the kinematics of mechanisms will provide the Cartesian with much needed resources to counter the two threats posed above.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SLOCAT
Upload history
First archival date: 2020-05-22
Latest version: 2 (2020-05-22)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
266 ( #18,860 of 54,353 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #20,429 of 54,353 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.