By their properties, causes and effects: Newton's scholium on time, space, place and motion--I. The text

Abstract
As I have read the scholium, it divides into three main parts, not including the introductory paragraph. The first consists of paragraphs one to four in which Newton sets out his characterizations of absolute and relative time, space, place, and motion. Although some justificatory material is included here, notably in paragraph three, the second part is reserved for the business of justifying the characterizations he has presented. The main object is to adduce grounds for believing that the absolute quantities are indeed distinct from their relative measures and are not reducible to them. Paragraph five takes this up for the case of time. Paragraphs eight to twelve endeavor to do this for rest and motion by appealing to their properties, causes and effects. In arguing that absolute motion is not reducible to any particular form of the relative motion of bodies with respect to one another, and thus, as is directly argued in the third argument, must be understood in terms of motionless places, Newton thereby constructs an indirect case that absolute space is indeed something distinct from any relative space. Paragraph thirteen functions as conclusion to this line of inquiry and comments on how, in the light of this, the names of these quantities are to be interpreted in the scriptures. The third and final part consists of paragraph fourteen alone, and addresses the question: given that true motion is motion with respect to absolute space, but the parts of the latter are not perceivable, is it possible for us to know the true motions of individual bodies? Newton illustrates how this may be done from the evidence provided by their apparent motions and the forces which are the causes and effects of true motion. This forms a bridge to the body of the work insofar as the purpose of the Principia, according to Newton, is to show how this, and the converse problem, of inferring true and apparent motions from the forces, can be dealt with.Part II of this paper will appear in the next issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,290
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Robert Palter (1987). Saving Newton's Text: Documents, Readers, and the Ways of the World. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 18 (4):385--439.
Howard Stein (1967). Newtonian Space-Time. Texas Quarterly 10:174--200.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Friedman (2007). Understanding Space-Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):216--225.
Bradford Skow (2007). Sklar's Maneuver. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):777 - 786.

View all 8 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

39 ( #52,264 of 1,679,372 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #25,897 of 1,679,372 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.