David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Cambridge University Press (2007)
Natural philosophy encompassed all natural phenomena of the physical world. It sought to discover the physical causes of all natural effects and was little concerned with mathematics. By contrast, the exact mathematical sciences were narrowly confined to various computations that did not involve physical causes, functioning totally independently of natural philosophy. Although this began slowly to change in the late Middle Ages, a much more thoroughgoing union of natural philosophy and mathematics occurred in the seventeenth century and thereby made the Scientific Revolution possible. The title of Isaac Newton's great work, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, perfectly reflects the new relationship. Natural philosophy became the 'Great Mother of the Sciences,' which by the nineteenth century had nourished the manifold chemical, physical, and biological sciences to maturity, thus enabling them to leave the 'Great Mother' and emerge as the multiplicity of independent sciences we know today
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Andrew Janiak (2013). Metaphysics and Natural Philosophy in Descartes and Newton. Foundations of Science 18 (3):403-417.
Tal Gilead (2011). The Role of Education Redefined: 18th Century British and French Educational Thought and the Rise of the Baconian Conception of the Study of Nature. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (10):1020-1034.
Edward Grant (2011). The Middle Ages and Modern Science. Metascience 20 (1):185-190.
Edward Grant (2009). The Fall and Foundations. Metascience 18 (1):43-51.
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