- The Oxford Handbook of The History of Physics
- List of Contributors
- Was There a Scientific Revolution?
- Galileo’s Mechanics of Natural Motion and Projectiles
- Cartesian Physics
- Physics and the Instrument-Makers, 1550–1700
- Newton’s <i>Principia</i>
- Newton’s Optics
- Experimentation in the Physical Sciences of the Seventeenth Century
- Mathematics and the New Sciences
- The Physics of Imponderable Fluids
- Physics on Show: Entertainment, Demonstration, and Research in the Long Eighteenth Century
- Instruments and Instrument-Makers, 1700–1850
- Mechanics in the Eighteenth Century
- Laplace and the Physics of Short-Range Forces
- Electricity and Magnetism to Volta
- Optics in the Nineteenth Century
- Thermal Physics and Thermodynamics
- Engineering Energy: Constructing a New Physics for Victorian Britain
- Electromagnetism and Field Physics
- Electrodynamics from Thomson and Maxwell to Hertz
- From Workshop to Factory: The Evolution of the Instrument-Making Industry, 1850–1930
- Physics Textbooks and Textbook Physics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
- Physics and Medicine
- Physics and Metrology
- Rethinking ‘Classical Physics’
- The Emergence of Statistical Mechanics
- Three and a Half Principles: The Origins of Modern Relativity Theory
- Quantum Physics
- The Silicon Tide: Relations between Things Epistemic and Things of Function in the Semiconductor World
- Physics and Cosmology
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the historical context of Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Principia) and how it reoriented natural philosophy for generations. It first considers how the Principia extends and refines the ideas of De Motu, taking into account the three Laws of Motion, the force responsible for the planetary trajectories, the motion of projectiles in a resisting medium, and the law of universal gravitation. It then discusses three changes that influenced fundamentally the content and reception of the Principia: the relabelling and rewording of nine ‘hypotheses’ (into ‘phenomena’ and ‘rules of reasoning’) at the start of Book 3; the addition of the General Scholium; and changes that minimized explicit commitments to atomism. It also assesses the impact of the Principia on the development of physics and concludes with an overview of Newton’s theory about the cause of gravity
Chris Smeenk is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. He received a B.A. degree in Physics and Philosophy from Yale University in 1995, and pursued graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh leading to a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science in 2003. Prior to arriving at UWO, he held a post‐doctoral fellowship at the Dibner Institute for History of Science and Technology (MIT) and was an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at UCLA (2003–2007). His main research interests are history and philosophy of physics, general issues in philosophy of science, and seventeenth‐century natural philosophy.
Eric Schliesser is Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam and Visitor Professor of Moral Sciences & Philosophy at Ghent University. His monograph on Adam Smith is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. In addition to publishing on early modern philosophy and science, he writes about the philosophy of economics.
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