Newton's methodology and mercury's perihelion before and after Einstein

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):932-942 (2007)
Newton's methodology is significantly richer than the hypothetico-deductive model. It is informed by a richer ideal of empirical success that requires not just accurate prediction but also accurate measurement of parameters by the predicted phenomena. It accepts theory-mediated measurements and theoretical propositions as guides to research. All of these enrichments are exemplified in the classical response to Mercury's perihelion problem. Contrary to Kuhn, Newton's method endorses the radical transition from his theory to Einstein's. The richer themes of Newton's method are strikingly realized in a challenge to general relativity from a new problem posed by Mercury's perihelion. †To contact the author, please write to: Talbot College, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 3K7; e-mail:
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DOI 10.1086/525634
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References found in this work BETA
William Harper (2002). Newton's Argument for Universal Gravitation. In I. Bernard Cohen & George E. Smith (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Newton. Cambridge University Press 174--201.
Wayne C. Myrvold & William L. Harper (2002). Model Selection, Simplicity, and Scientific Inference. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S135-S149.
N. T. Roseveare (1984). Mercury's Perihelion From Le Verrier to Einstein. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (2):188-191.

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