David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (3):269 – 274 (2001)
Until the present, the Newtonian theory of gravitation has only been studied in any detail through the usual, presupposed ontology of point particles. This paper shows that changing our ontology into one which makes use of continuous bodies (non-point particles) allows us to obtain in a simple way two important results relevant to the theory: (a) The Newtonian theory of gravitation is indeterministic in a way apparently unparalleled when non-point particle models of it are used. (b) In the Newtonian theory of gravitation it is possible to find non-collision singularities qualitatively different from the ones presented in point particle models.
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