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Was Newtonian Cosmology Really Inconsistent?

Vickers, Peter John (2008) Was Newtonian Cosmology Really Inconsistent? [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    This paper follows up a debate as to the consistency of Newtonian cosmology. Whereas Malament (1995) has shown that Newtonian cosmology *is* not inconsistent, to date there has been no analysis of Norton’s claim (1995) that Newtonian cosmology *was* inconsistent prior to certain advances in the 1930s, and in particular prior to Seeliger’s seminal paper of 1895. In this paper I agree that there are assumptions, Newtonian and cosmological in character, and relevant to the real history of science, which are inconsistent. But there are some important corrections to make to Norton’s account. Here I display for the first time the inconsistencies—four in total—in all their detail. Although this extra detail shows there to be several different inconsistencies, it also goes some way towards explaining why they went unnoticed for two hundred years.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Newton, Newtonian, Cosmology, Inconsistent, Inconsistency, Contradiction, Theory, Theories
    Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
    General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
    Depositing User: Dr Peter Vickers
    Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2008
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:16
    Item ID: 3962
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3962

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