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The Constructible and the Intelligible in Newton's Philosophy of Geometry

Domski, Mary (2002) The Constructible and the Intelligible in Newton's Philosophy of Geometry. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the Preface to the Principia (1687) Newton famously states that geometry is founded on mechanical practice. Several commentators have taken this and similar remarks as an indication that Newton was firmly situated in the constructivist tradition of geometry that was prevalent in the seventeenth century. By drawing on a selection of Newton's unpublished texts, I hope to show the faults of such an interpretation. In these texts, Newton not only rejects the constructivism that took its birth in Descartes' Géométrie (1637); he also presents the science of geometry as being more powerful than his Principia remarks may lead us to believe.


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Item Type: Preprint
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Domski, Mary
Keywords: History of Science Case Studies, History of Philosophy of Science, Philosophers of Science, Constructivism, Newton
Depositing User: Program Committee
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 15:43
Item ID: 1063
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1063

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