Foundations of Science 21 (4):567-578 (2016)

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the role of abstraction and idealization in Galileo’s scientific inquiries into the law of free falling motion, and their importance in the history of science. Because there is no consensus on the use of the terms “abstraction” and “idealization” in the literature, it is necessary to distinguish between them at the outset. This paper will argue for the importance of abstraction and idealization in physics and the theories and laws of physics constructed with abduction from observations and that these theoretical laws of physics should be tested with deduction and induction thorough quasi-idealized entities rather than empirical results in the everyday world. Galileo’s work is linked to thought experiments in natural science. Galileo, using thought experiments based on idealization, persuaded others that what had been proven true for a ball on an inclined plane would be equally true for a ball falling through a vacuum.
Keywords Abstraction  Idealization  The law of falling motion  Abduction  Thought experiment
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DOI 10.1007/s10699-015-9426-y
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Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John D. Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.

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