Pieter van Musschenbroek on laws of nature


Authors
Steffen Ducheyne
University of Ghent
Pieter Present
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Abstract
In this article, we discuss the development of the concept of a ‘law’ (of nature) in the work of the Dutch natural philosopher and experimenter Petrus van Musschenbroek (1692–1761). Since Van Musschenbroek is commonly described as one of the first ‘Newtonians’ on the Continent in the secondary literature, we focus more specifically on its relation to Newton’s views on this issue. Although he was certainly indebted to Newton for his thinking on laws (of nature), Van Musschenbroek’s views can be seen to diverge from Newton’s on crucial points. We show, moreover, how his thinking on laws of nature was shaped by both international and local factors. We start with a brief discussion of Newton’s concept of ‘laws of nature’ in order to set the stage for Van Musschenbroek’s. We then document the development of Van Musschenbroek’s views on laws of nature in chronological order. We demonstrate how his thinking on laws of nature was tied to institutional, theological and scientific factors. We conclude by pointing to the broader significance of this case study for our understanding of the development of the concept ‘law of nature’ during the eighteenth century.
Keywords Petrus van Musschenbroek  Laws of nature  Isaac Newton
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0007087417000887
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,044
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

Newton and the Reality of Force.Andrew Janiak - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1):127-147.
Newton on Action at a Distance.Steffen Ducheyne - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (4):675-701.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Are Conservation Laws Metaphysically Necessary?Johanna Wolff - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):898-906.
Laws in Physics.Mathias Frisch - 2014 - European Review 22:S33-S49.
Laws in Biology and the Unity of Nature.Angela Breitenbach - 2017 - In Michela Massimi & Angela Breitenbach (eds.), Kant and the Laws of Nature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 237-255.
Models: The Blueprints for Laws.Nancy Cartwright - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):303.
Armstrong and van Fraassen on Probabilistic Laws of Nature.Duncan Maclean - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):1-13.
Miracles and the Laws of Nature.Robert A. Larmer - 1985 - Dialogue 24 (2):227 - 235.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-10-25

Total views
28 ( #302,854 of 2,259,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #493,552 of 2,259,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature