David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 67 (3):421-443 (2000)
Kant's views on the epistemological status of physical science provide an important example of how a philosophical system can be applied to understand the foundation of scientific theories. Michael Friedman has made considerable progress towards elucidating Kant's philosophy of science; in particular, he has argued that Kant viewed Newton's law of universal gravitation as necessary for the possibility of experiencing what Kant called true motion, which is more than the mere relative motion of appearances but is different from Newton's concept of absolute motion. In this context, Friedman has provided an account of how Kant must have viewed Newton's supposed derivation of universal gravitation from Kepler's laws, based on, among other things, Kant's claim that Newton really needed to make extra assumptions in order to derive universal gravitation. In this paper, I argue that Friedman's account is incomplete for three reasons. First, Friedman has overlooked an important aspect of how Newton's third law is applied in the relevant sections of the Principia; as a result, Friedman's account partially misconstrues the relation between the planetary phenomena and the theory of universal gravitation. Second, his account fails to account for Kant's apparent belief that Kepler's laws are only empirically-based rules, even though they seem to be necessary for the derivation of universal gravitation and hence also necessary for Kant's own definition of true motion. Third, Friedman has overlooked some remarks by Kant that indicate that Kant thought the crucial properties of universal gravitation could be known without reference to the empirically determined motions of the planets and hence seemingly without any help from Newton
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dennis Dieks (1987). Gravitation as a Universal Force. Synthese 73 (2):381 - 397.
Steffen Ducheyne (2006). The Argument(s) for Universal Gravitation. Foundations of Science 11 (4):419-447.
Steffen Ducheyne (2009). Understanding (in) Newton's Argument for Universal Gravitation. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):227 - 258.
David Marshall Miller (2009). Qualities, Properties, and Laws in Newton's Induction. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1052-1063.
Steffen Ducheyne, Testing Universal Gravitation in the Laboratory, or the Significance of Research on the Mean Density of the Earth and Big G, 1798-1898: Changing Pursuits and Long-Term Methodological-Experimental Continuity. [REVIEW]
Eric Schliesser (2013). On Reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the Changes to the Principia. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):416-428.
Michael Friedman (1989). Kant on Space, the Understanding, and the Law of Gravitation. The Monist 72 (2):236-284.
Andrew Janiak & Eric Schliesser (eds.) (2012). Interpreting Newton: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Howard Stein (1990). "From the Phenomena of Motions to the Forces of Nature": Hypothesis or Deduction? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:209 - 222.
William Harper (1990). Newton's Classic Deductions From Phenomena. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:183 - 196.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads37 ( #54,623 of 1,410,465 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #75,847 of 1,410,465 )
How can I increase my downloads?