Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1052-1063 (2009)

David Marshall Miller
Auburn University
Newton’s argument for universal gravitation in the Principia eventually rested on the third “Rule of Philosophizing,” which warrants the generalization of “qualities of bodies.” An analysis of the rule and the history of its development indicate that the term ‘quality’ should be taken to include both inherent properties of bodies and relations among systems of bodies, generalized into `laws'. By incorporating law‐induction into the rule, Newton could legitimately rebuff objections to his theory by claiming that universal gravitation was justified by his method even if he could not specify the cause of gravity . †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Duke University, 201 West Duke Building, Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: [email protected]
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/605808
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,089
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 Matter and Activity.Ralph C. S. Walker & Ernan McMullin - 1980 - Philosophical Quarterly 30 (120):249.
In A. Janiak.I. Newton - 2004 - In Margaret A. Simons, Marybeth Timmermann & Mary Beth Mader (eds.), Philosophical Writings. University of Illinois Press.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On Reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the Changes to the Principia.Eric Schliesser - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):416-428.
Three Concepts of Causation in Newton.Andrew Janiak - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):396-407.
Newton and Wolff: The Leibnizian Reaction to the Principia, 1716-1763.Marius Stan - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):459-481.
Causation and Gravitation in George Cheyne's Newtonian Natural Philosophy.Patrick J. Connolly - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:145-154.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
89 ( #129,445 of 2,499,012 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #421,180 of 2,499,012 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes