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Phenomena in Newton's Principia

Walsh, Kirsten (2014) Phenomena in Newton's Principia. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Newton described his Principia as a work of ‘experimental philosophy’, where theories were deduced from phenomena. He introduced six ‘phenomena’: propositions describing patterns of motion, generalised from astronomical observations. However, these don’t fit Newton’s contemporaries’ definitions of ‘phenomenon’. Drawing on Bogen and Woodward’s (1988) distinction between data, phenomena and theories, I argue that Newton’s ‘phenomena’ were explanatory targets drawn from raw data. Viewed in this way, the phenomena of the Principia and the experiments from the Opticks were different routes to the same end: isolating explananda.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Walsh, Kirstenwalki303@student.otago.ac.nz
Keywords: Newton, Principia, phenomena, data, evidence, explananda
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Ms Kirsten Walsh
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 16:37
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2014 16:37
Item ID: 11169
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 22 February 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11169

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