Newton's metaphysics of space: A “tertium quid” betwixt substantivalism and relationism, or merely a “god of the gaps”?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 17 (4):pp. 429-456 (2009)
This paper investigates the question of, and the degree to which, Newton’s theory of space constitutes a third-way between the traditional substantivalist and relationist ontologies, i.e., that Newton judged that space is neither a type of substance/entity nor purely a relation among such substances. A non-substantivalist reading of Newton has been famously defended by Howard Stein, among others; but, as will be demonstrated, these claims are problematic on various grounds, especially as regards Newton’s alleged rejection of the traditional substance/accident dichotomy concerning space. Nevertheless, our analysis of the metaphysical foundations of Newton’s spatial theory will strive to uncover its unique and innovative characteristics, most notably, the distinctive role that Newton’s “immaterialist” spatial ontology plays in his dynamics
|Keywords||Newton space Cambridge Neoplatonism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Mauro Dorato (2000). Substantivalism, Relationism, and Structural Spacetime Realism. Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1605-1628.
J. E. McGuire (2006). Existence, Actuality and Necessity: Newton on Space and Time. Annals of Science 35 (5):463-508.
Steffen Ducheyne (2005). Newton's Training in the Aristotelian Textbook Tradition: From Effects to Causes and Back. History of Science 43 (3):217-237.
Howard Stein (1967). Newtonian Space-Time. Texas Quarterly 10:174--200.
Robert Disalle (1994). On Dynamics, Indiscernibility, and Spacetime Ontology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):265-287.
Citations of this work BETA
Hylarie Kochiras (2012). By Ye Divine Arm: God and Substance in De Gravitatione. Religious Studies 2012 (September):1-30.
Katherine Brading (2013). Three Principles of Unity in Newton. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):408-415.
Edward Slowik (2011). Newton, the Parts of Space, and the Holism of Spatial Ontology. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):249-272.
Patrick J. Connolly (2015). Space Before God? A Problem in Newton's Metaphysics. Philosophy 90 (1):83-106.
Similar books and articles
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.
Nick Huggett (2008). Why the Parts of Absolute Space Are Immobile. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):391-407.
Mary Domski (2010). Newton's Empiricism and Metaphysics. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):525-534.
Geoffrey Gorham (2011). Newton on God's Relation to Space and Time: The Cartesian Framework. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (3):281-320.
Tim Maudlin (1993). Buckets of Water and Waves of Space: Why Spacetime is Probably a Substance. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):183-203.
Alejandro Cassini (2005). Newton and Leibniz on Non-Substantival Space. Theoria 20 (1):25-43.
Ori Belkind (2007). Newton's Conceptual Argument for Absolute Space. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):271 – 293.
Edward Slowik (2013). Newton's Neo-Platonic Ontology of Space. Foundations of Science 18 (3):419-448.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #63,215 of 1,789,933 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #167,785 of 1,789,933 )
How can I increase my downloads?