The Logical Structure of Scientific Explanation and Prediction: Planetary Orbits in a Sun's Gravitational Field
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studia Logica 95 (1/2):207 - 232 (2010)
We present a logically detailed case-study of explanation and prediction in Newtonian mechanics. The case in question is that of a planet's elliptical orbit in the Sun's gravitational field. Care is taken to distinguish the respective contributions of the mathematics that is being applied, and of the empirical hypotheses that receive a mathematical formulation. This enables one to appreciate how in this case the overall logical structure of scientific explanation and prediction is exactly in accordance with the hypotheticodeductive model
|Keywords||Kepler Newton Laws of Motion Law of Gravitation planetary orbit scientific explanation hypothetico-deductive model hypotheses predictions natural logicism kinematics conics polar coordinates derivatives ellipse focus directrix eccentricity semi-latus rectum equation of energy|
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