The Newtonian Revolution

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April 1983



This volume presents Professor Cohen's original interpretation of the revolution that marked the beginnings of modern science and set Newtonian science as the model for the highest level of achievement in other branches of science. It shows that Newton developed a special kind of relation between abstract mathematical constructs and the physical systems that we observe in the world around us by means of experiment and critical observation. The heart of the radical Newtonian style is the construction on the mind of a mathematical system that has some features in common with the physical world; this system s then modified when the deductions and conclusions drawn from it are tested against the physical universe. Using this system Newton was able to make his revolutionary innovations in celestial mechanics and, ultimately, create a new physics of central forces and the law of universal gravitation. Building on his analysis of Newton's methodology, Professor Cohen explores the fine structure of revolutionary change and scientific creativity in general. This is done by developing the concept of scientific change as a series of transformations of ecxisting ideas. It is shown that such transformation is characteristic of many aspects of the sciences and that the concept of scientific change by transformation suggests a new way of examining the very nature of scientific creativity.


Preface; Part I. The Newtonian Revolution and The Newtonian Style: 1. The Newtonian revolution in science; 2. Revolution in science and the Newtonian revolution as historical concepts; 3. The Newtonian revolution and the Newtonian style; Part II. Transformations of Scientific Ideas: 4. The transformation of scientific ideas; 5. Newton and Kepler's laws: stages of transformation leading toward universal gravitation; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


'In The Newtonian Revolution, I. Bernard Cohen has written the most provocative and original book in the history of science to appear in years.' Horace Freeland Judson, The Sciences ' ... a major event in the historiography of science.' Richard S. Westfall, Nature
EAN: 9780521273800
ISBN: 0521273803
Untertitel: Revised. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: April 1983
Seitenanzahl: 424 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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