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Newton as Philosopher - Andrew Janiak

Newton as Philosopher

Paperback Published: 9th September 2010
ISBN: 9780521172448
Number Of Pages: 210

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Paperback

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Newton's philosophical views are unique and uniquely difficult to categorise. In the course of a long career from the early 1670s until his death in 1727, he articulated profound responses to Cartesian natural philosophy and to the prevailing mechanical philosophy of his day. Newton as Philosopher presents Newton as an original and sophisticated contributor to natural philosophy, one who engaged with the principal ideas of his most important predecessor, Rene Descartes, and of his most influential critic, G. W. Leibniz. Unlike Descartes and Leibniz, Newton was systematic and philosophical withou presenting a philosophical system, but over the course of his life, he developed a novel picture of nature, our place within it, and its relation to the creator. This rich treatment of his philosophical ideas will be of wide interest to historians of philosophy, science, and ideas.

"Newton as Philosopher is the best and most comprehensive discussion now available of Newton's Philosophical views and their relationship with his physics---especially in connection with such vexed issues as the existence of forces, action at a distance, and God's relation to `absolute space.' It is particularly remarkable for the way in which it very illuminatingly situates these issues within the wider context of early modern philosophy more generally." Michael Friedman, Stanford University

"Janiak masterfully steers his interpretive analysis through an extraordinarily rich historical material, while the philosophically rigorous narrative takes the reader from one chapter to the next in a compelling way. The final result is a brilliant book that has an important story to tell about Newton's `physical metaphysics."' Philosophy

Review of the hardback: 'Newton as Philosopher is the best and most comprehensive discussion now available of Newton's philosophical views and their relationship with his physics - especially in connection with such vexed issues as the existence of forces, action at a distance, and God's relation to 'absolute space'. It is particularly remarkable for the way in which it very illuminatingly situates these issues within the wider context of early modern philosophy more generally.' Michael Friedman, Stanford University
Review of the hardback: 'Janiak argues strongly for Newton as a philosopher, and gives a bold and compelling account of what he labels 'Newton's physical metaphysics'. Because it details the close relationship between natural philosophy and traditional metaphysical themes, his book will engage not only historians of eighteenth-century ideas but also those philosophers of physics who examine historically foundational physical concepts such as space, time and mass.' Christopher Kenny, University of Leeds
'... fulfils the task successfully, and proves the good that can come from combining a historically accurate account with a philosophically compelling analysis ... Janiak masterfully steers his interpretive analysis through an extraordinarily rich historical material, while the philosophically rigorous narrative takes the reader from one chapter to the next in a compelling way. The final result is a brilliant book that has an important story to tell about Newton's "physical metaphysics" and it makes it an occasion for a thousand wider meditations ... Janiak's Newton sheds new light on the vexed issue of the relationship between Newton's physics and his metaphysical and religious beliefs, and on how the latter informed and illuminated the former ... Janiak's monograph offers an essential contribution to the ever-growing field of history and philosophy of science, and proves once more what can be achieved by masterfully integrating intellectual history of science with philosophy.' The Journal of Philosophy
"According to Janiak, Newton's rejection of the prevailing mechanist views was not merely an attempt to transform traditional metaphysical issues, such as the nature of matter or space and time, into empirical ones, but also a matter of securing a proper understanding of these physical concepts in relation to God. This is a very fine book...Summing up: Recommended" D.B. Boersema, Pacific University, Choice

Preface
Notes on text and translations
Newton as philosopher, the very idea
Physics and metaphysics: three interpretations
Do forces exist? Contesting the mechanical philosophy, I
Matter and mechanism: contesting the mechanical philosophy, II
Space in physics and metaphysics: contra Descartes
God and natural philosophy
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521172448
ISBN-10: 0521172446
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 210
Published: 9th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.29