ON THE ORIGIN OF MODERN NATURALISM: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BERKELEY’S RESPONSE TO A NEWTONIAN INDISPENSIBILITY ARGUMENT

Philosophica 76:45-66 (2005)
Abstract
I call attention to Berkeley’s treatment of a Newtonian indispensability argument against his own main position. I argue that the presence of this argument marks a significant moment in the history of philosophy and science: Newton’s achievements could serve as a separate and authoritative source of justification within philosophy. This marks the presence of a new kind of naturalism. A long the way, I argue against the claim tha t there is no explicit opposition or distinction between “philosophy” and “science” until the nineteenth century. Finally, I argue for the conceptual unity between Berkeley’s immaterialism and instrumentalism. I argue that Berkeley’s commitment to immaterialism requires his reinterpretation of science and, thus, the adoption of instrumentalism.
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Eric Schliesser (2011). Newton's Challenge to Philosophy: A Programmatic Essay. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (1):101-128.
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