Philosophy of Science 85 (5):919-929 (2018)

Maarten Van Dyck
University of Ghent
Galileo proposed what has been called a proto-inertial principle, according to which a body un horizontal motion will conserve its motion. This statement is only true in counterfactual circumstances where no impediments are present. This paper analyzes how Galileo could have been justified in ascribing definite properties to this idealized motion. This analysis is then used to better understand the relation of Galileo’s proto-inertial principle to the classical inertial principle.
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DOI 10.1086/699691
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