Newton's experimental proofs as eliminative reasoning

Erkenntnis 50 (1):91-121 (1999)
In this paper I discuss Newton's first optical paper. My aim is to examine the type of argument which Newton uses in order to convince his readers of the truth of his theory of colors. My claim is that this argument is an induction by elimination, and that the Newtonian method of justification is a kind of generative justification, a term due to T. Nickles. To achieve my aim I analyze in some detail the arguments in Newton's first optical paper, relating the paper with Newton's other writings in optics, and especially his early correspondence in defence of his theory of colors.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005430219735
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