Authors
Peter Vickers
Durham University
Abstract
This paper follows up a debate as to the consistency of Newtonian cosmology. Whereas Malament has shown that Newtonian cosmology *is* not inconsistent, to date there has been no analysis of Norton’s claim that Newtonian cosmology *was* inconsistent prior to certain advances in the 1930s, and in particular prior to Seeliger’s seminal paper of 1895. In this paper I agree that there are assumptions, Newtonian and cosmological in character, and relevant to the real history of science, which are inconsistent. But there are some important corrections to make to Norton’s account. Here I display for the first time the inconsistencies—four in total—in all their detail. Although this extra detail shows there to be several different inconsistencies, it also goes some way towards explaining why they went unnoticed for two hundred years.
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Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2009.05.001
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References found in this work BETA

Frisch, Muller, and Belot on an Inconsistency in Classical Electrodynamics.Peter Vickers - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):767-792.
Determinism and the Mystery of the Missing Physics.Mark Wilson - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):173-193.
On Understanding: Maxwell on the Methods of Illustration and Scientific Metaphor.Jordi Cat - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (3):395-441.
Is Newtonian Cosmology Really Inconsistent?David B. Malament - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (4):489-510.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rethinking Newton’s Principia.Simon Saunders - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (1):22-48.
What Counts as a Newtonian System? The View From Norton’s Dome.Samuel Craig Fletcher - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):275-297.
Can Partial Structures Accommodate Inconsistent Science?Peter Vickers - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (2):133-250.

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