Philosophy of Science 84 (5):866-878 (2017)

Authors
Kirsten Walsh
University of Exeter
Abstract
Newton’s earliest publications contained scandalous epistemological claims: not only did he aim for certainty; he also claimed success. Some commentators argue that Newton ultimately gave up claims of certainty in favor of a high degree of probability. I argue that no such shift occurred. I examine the evidence of a probabilistic shift: a passage from query 23/31 of the Opticks and rule 4 of the Principia. Neither passage supports a probabilistic approach to natural philosophy. The aim of certainty, then, was an enduring feature of Newton’s methodology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/693963
Options
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: 62,268
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
Opticks.Isaac Newton - 1704 - Dover Press.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Knowledge, Certainty and Probability.Herbert Heidelberger - 1963 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 6 (1-4):242 – 250.
A Note on 'Knowledge, Certainty, and Probability'∗.Frances Weyland - 1964 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 7 (1-4):417-417.
Klein on Relative Certainty.Rod Bertolet - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:271-274.
Klein on Relative Certainty.Rod Bertolet - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:271-274.
Why Certainty is Not a Mansion.Elly Vintiadis - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Research 31:143-152.
Newton’s Empiricism and Metaphysics.Mary Domski - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):525-534.
Newton and God's Sensorium.Patrick J. Connolly - 2014 - Intellectual History Review 24 (2):185-201.
Cotes’ Queries: Newton’s Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter.Zvi Biener & Chris Smeenk - 2012 - In Eric Schliesser & Andrew Janiak (eds.), Interpreting Newton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 105-137.
Triviality Results For Probabilistic Modals.Goldstein Simon - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):188-222.
Some Reflections on Newton's Principia.E. B. Davies - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Science 42 (2):211-224.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-12-15

Total views
24 ( #451,837 of 2,444,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,287 of 2,444,875 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes