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The General Scholium: Some Notes on Newton's Published and Unpublished Endeavours

Ducheyne, Steffen (2007) The General Scholium: Some Notes on Newton's Published and Unpublished Endeavours. [Preprint]


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Newton’s immensely famous, but tersely written, General Scholium is primarily known for its reference to the argument of design and Newton’s famous dictum “hypotheses non fingo”. In the essay at hand, I shall argue that this text served a variety of goals and try to add something new to our current knowledge of how Newton tried to accomplish them. The General Scholium highlights a cornucopia of features that were central to Newton’s natural philosophy in general: matters of experimentation, methodological issues, theological matters, matters related to the instauration of prisca sapientia, epistemological claims central to Newton’s empiricism, and, finally, metaphysical issues. For Newton these matters were closely interwoven. I shall address these matters based on a thorough study of the extant manuscript material.

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Item Type: Preprint
Ducheyne, Steffen
Additional Information: This paper has been published in "Lias: Sources and Documents Relating to the Early Modern History of Ideas", vol. 33, no. 3n 2006, pp. 223-274.
Keywords: Newton, Principia, non-gravitational forces, explanation, theology, 17th century natural philosophy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Theory/Observation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Science and Religion
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: Steffen Ducheyne
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3461

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