2012-09-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/13548
Nature of Gravitation
The Structural Intuition of Gravitation in the Framework of Early Modern Mechanical Philosophy
Philosophische Fakultät I
As is generally known, Newton’s notion of universal gravitation surpassed various theories of particular gravities in the early modern age, as represented mainly by Kepler and Hooke. In his seminal work “Hooke and the Law of Universal Gravitation: A Reappraisal of a Reappraisal” Richard S. Westfall argues that Hooke could not reach beyond the concept of spatially bounded particular gravities, as he deployed the method of analogy between the material principle of congruity and incongruity and the extension of gravitational spheres and their action at a distance. However, the doctrine of universal gravitation does not exclude the nature of particular gravities; it is predicated on the notion of an infinite expansion of individual-gravitational spheres and their uniform nature, namely the mutual and centripetal attraction. In my treatise I attempt to reinvestigate the nature and structure of gravitation, as established historically in the framework of Newtonian Classical Mechanics, by a method of structural intuition. It examines how the structural intuition, as represented in the celestial-mechanical intuitions of Hooke and Kepler, could unfold into an innovative process within the context of early modern mechanical philosophy, attaining thus a historical significance and legitimacy as against the prevailing Newtonian method of geometric-mathematical axiomatization of mechanical principles. It also explores the actual demonstrative features of the tidal phenomenon with regard to its lunar- and solar-gravitational causation, which has been considered to date to be an important piece of empirical evidence for the theory of universal gravitation.
This article has been included in my list of publications in Academia.edu:http://www.academia.edu/2104755/Nature_of_Gravitation._The_Structural_Intuition_of_Gravitation_in_the_Framework_of_Early_Modern_Mechanical_Philosophy
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