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Evidence and MethodScientific Strategies of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell$
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Peter Achinstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199921850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199921850.001.0001

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Newton’s Rules

Newton’s Rules

(p.43) Chapter 2 Newton’s Rules
Evidence and Method

Peter Achinstein

Oxford University Press

Isaac Newton begins the third book of his Principia with a set of four general methodological rules. They are explicitly used in generating the universal law of gravity from six propositions he calls “phenomena” together with laws and theorems which he had established earlier in the Principia. This chapter examines Newton's rules and provides a new way of understanding them that makes them very plausible and not subject to the many objections that have been raised against them by various scientists and philosophers from the eighteenth century to the present.

Keywords:   scientific evidence, Isaac Newton, universal law of gravity, Principia, phenomena

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