The
Contents 1 Rejecting Cartesian vortices
2
Rejecting Cartesian vortices[edit]
In the first paragraph of the General Scholium, Newton attacks René
Descartes' model of the solar system. Descartes and his supporters
were followers of mechanical philosophy, a form of natural philosophy
popular in the 17th century which maintained that nature and natural
beings act similar to machines. In his book The World, Descartes
suggests that the creation of the solar system and the circular motion
of the planets around the
The motions of the Comets are exceedingly regular, are governed by the same laws with the motions of the Planets, and can by no means be accounted for by the hypotheses of Vortices. For Comets are carried with very eccentric motions through all parts of the heavens indifferently, with a freedom that is incompatible with the notion of a Vortex.[1]
I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not frame hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.[1] The
In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction. Thus it was that the impenetrability, the mobility, and the impulsive force of bodies, and the laws of motion and of gravitation, were discovered. And to us it is enough, that gravity does really exist, and act according to the laws which we have explained, and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies, and of our sea.[1] Theological views[edit]
Most of the
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent being. And if the fixed Stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must all be subject to the dominion of One. [...] This Being Governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all: And on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God παντοκρατωρ, or Universal Ruler.[1] "The Spirit"[edit]
The
But these are things that cannot be explained in a few words, nor are we furnished with that sufficiency of experiments which is required to an accurate determination and demonstration of the laws which this electric spirit operates.[1] References[edit] ^ a b c d e f The
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v t e Isaac Newton Publications
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