Topic: New Research on Newton's Deduction of Universal Gravity
主讲人：Adwait A. Parker 助理教授（清华大学哲学系）
方式：腾讯会议 787 769 146（无密码）
In the first 100 years of the reception of Newton’s 1687 Principia (e.g. Huygens, Cotes, Leibniz, Euler, and Kant), as in the last 60 years of its reception (e.g. Koyré, Stein, Densmore, Harper, Smith, Biener/Smeenk, and Schliesser), commentators have observed that Newton must presuppose that Law III applies to gravitational interactions in order to deduce the law of universal gravity. Mechanical doctrines of explanation find this presupposition to be both circular and unsettling: how to justify, and how to conceive, that bodies interact immediately at a distance? Newton’s own silence on these issues gives the impression either that he cannot address them, or that his ‘mathematical’ treatment of forces is conjectural and disconnected from empirical evidence.
Based on manuscripts from 1685 of Newton’s first, unpublished deduction of universal gravity, I argue that Newton had already posed these questions to himself and framed a novel way of answering them by appeal to magnetic theory. At the heart of this new framing, I contend, is a surprisingly modern distinction between what I call ‘active and passive quantities of matter’. After setting out my argument in favor of this distinction, I will sketch three lines of research into which my interpretation leads: (1) the influence of magnetic theory on Newton’s mathematical theory of forces; (2) Newton’s empiricism, rules of reasoning, and the role of analogical evidence; (3) closer scrutiny of the logic of the Principia.
Adwait A. Parker