Atom and Individual in the Age of Newton: On the Genesis of by G. Freudenthal

By G. Freudenthal

In this stimulating research, Gideon Freudenthal has associated social historical past with the background of technological know-how through formulating an enticing concept: that the intended effect of social concept might be visible as genuine via its co­ herence with the method of formation of actual recommendations. The reinterpre­ tation of the advance of technology within the 17th century, now greatly influential, gets at Freudenthal's hand its so much persuasive assertion, most importantly as a result of his awareness to the theoretical shape that's charac­ teristic. of classical Newtonian mechanics. He pursues the assets of the parallels that could be famous among that mechanics and the dominant philosophical platforms and social theories of the time; and in a desirable improvement Freudenthal indicates how a really detailed procedure - as he descriptively labels it, the 'analytic-synthetic approach' - which underlay the Newtonian type of theoretical argument, used to be as a result of yes interpretive premisses touching on particle mechanics. If he's correct, those depend on a specific level of con­ ceptual fulfillment within the theories of either society and nature; extra, that the conceptual was once generalized philosophically; yet, strikingly, Freudenthal exhibits that this concept-formation itself was once associated with the explicit social family of the days of Newton and Hobbes.

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12 If there is a possibility that a body might lose its gravity, then both Newton's proof of the 'diminution' of gravity and his distinction between 'universa1' and 'essentia1' properties makes sense. This can be shown by comparing his argument on gravitation with his proof of the existence of absolute space. The existence of empty space independent of matter was supposed to be proven by the fact that at a height of even 200 miles the quantity of matter is infinitesimal in relation to the volume of space, without there being any change in the character of space.

5. , 552; Cajori, 398). Since Newton presupposes that bodies are composed of particles, he adds a further determination: The extension, hardness, impenetrability, mobility, and force of inertia of the whole, result from the extension, hardness, impenetrability, mobility, and forces of inertia of the parts; and hence we conclude the least particles of all bodies to be also all extended, and hard and impenetrable, and movable, and endowed with their proper forces of inertia. , 554; Cajori,399). In this catalogue of qualities which belong to all particles of matter it is apparent that gravitation is missing, although it too is a property of all bodies within reach of our experiments.

Newton, however, believed he could prove the existence of a space which existed independently of material bodies - and thus the existence of an empty space - in yet another connection. 2. PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF A VACUUM; NEWTON'S SECOND PRESUPPOSITION Based on careful experiments with pendulums of various materials but of equal weight, which were so constructed that in spite of their different volumes they had the same air resistance, Newton was able to confirm the fact that all bodies fall equally fast in a vacuum.

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