HPS211 2013.01.17 Lecture Notes

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History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code
Curtis Forbes

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Jan. 17 Lecture (thurs) Newtonianism Newton’s Physics - As a matter of method, stick to the simple stuff that is useful - Said don’t overcomplicate things - Was committed to determinism o Substantial part of his framework o This was something that had to be presumed to get any work done Metaphysical Presuppositions - Newton also had an understanding of space as a container - He figured that space could be nothing, background principle that he assumes to do the kind of work that he wants System of the World - Came up with system for understanding all matter and motion - 3 laws of motion 1. Primary due to Galileo that did away with Aristotelian concepts of motion, basically bodies that are in motion will continue to be in motion unless something stops it (law of inertia) 2. Change is proportional the force applied 3. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, was the most controversial law, he basically generalized the laws surrounding static force and applied it to dynamic force - Law of universal gravitation (law of universal attraction) o Comes from the observations of terrestrial and celestial phenomena o Explains motion of planets and motion towards earth o Something/kind of theory that experiments could actually be conducted on o Newton claimed that everything was exerting some sort of gravitational force on everything else o People thought this was a very bold claim - Planet’s orbited in ellipses not perfectly circular orbits (discovered by Kepler) - Newton expanded on Keplers results and explained them Newtonianism after Newton - People thought that Newton had kind of just solved everything - In advocating for his sy
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