By Peter Achinstein
A suite of essays via the medical thinker Peter Achinstein, representing the fruits of his exam of methodological matters bobbing up from nineteenth century physics. He specializes in philosophical difficulties surrounding the postulation of unobservable entities akin to gentle waves.
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Extra info for Particles and waves: historical essays in the philosophy of science
E. McGuire, "Newton's 'Principles of Philosophy': An Intended Preface for the 1704 Opticks and a Related Draft Fragment," British Journal for the History of Science 18 (1970), pp. 178-186. 21. William Harper (in a draft ms "Newton's Unification of Heaven and Earth") emphasizes the idea of unification here rather than simplicity. He thinks of Newton's first two rules as endorsing a policy of unifying natural-kind conceptions wherever possible. NEWTON'S CORPUSCULAR QUERY AND EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY 41 tions, inductions, and causal simplification.
21. Humphrey Lloyd, "Report on the Progress and Present State of Physical Optics," Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 4 (1835), pp. 295-413. INTRODUCTION 23 There were a number of phenomena, including dispersion and selective absorption, that had not been adequately explained by the wave theory, and during the 1830s these were investigated from a wave-theoretic perspective. Some physicists, including Brougham, David Brewster, and Richard Potter, continued to defend the particle theory even beyond 1850.
Deduction" for Newton is a term that includes both induction, as just defined, and (ordinary) deductions or demonstrations of the sort produced in mathematical proofs. , from the fact that the moons of Jupiter and Saturn obey Kepler's laws to the proposition that the motions of these moons have the same causes). An hypothesis, then, for Newton is any proposition that has not been derived from accepted observational facts by ordinary deduction, inductive generalization, inference from similar effects to similar causes, or any combination of these.