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Isaac Newton on the Action at a Distance in Gravity: With or without God?

By Sfetcu, Nicolae

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Book Id: WPLBN0100301960
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 305.32 KB
Reproduction Date: 2/16/2019

Title: Isaac Newton on the Action at a Distance in Gravity: With or without God?  
Author: Sfetcu, Nicolae
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Philosophy, isaac newton
Collections: Philosophy, Authors Community
Historic
Publication Date:
2019
Publisher: MultiMedia Publishing
Member Page: Nicolae Sfetcu

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Sfetcu, N. (2019). Isaac Newton on the Action at a Distance in Gravity: With or without God?. Retrieved from http://gutenberg.cc/


Description
The interpretation of Isaac Newton's texts has sparked controversy to this day. One of the most heated debates relates to the action between two bodies distant from each other (the gravitational attraction), and to what extent Newton involved God in this case. Practically, most of the papers discuss four types of gravitational attractions in the case of remote bodies: direct distance action as intrinsic property of bodies in epicurean sense; direct remote action divinely mediated by God; remote action mediated by a material ether; or remote action mediated by an immaterial ether. The purpose of this paper is to argue that Newton categorically rejected the types of direct action as the intrinsic property of bodies, and remote action mediated by a material ether. Concerning the other two types of action, direct through divine intervention and mediated through an immaterial environment, Newton has repeatedly stated that he does not know the exact cause of gravity, but in both cases, he has directly involved God, directly in the first case and as the primary cause (the environment/ether being the secondary cause) in immaterial mediated action. But since recognition of direct distance action could have given some credit to those who thought gravity could be essential to matter, and hence to atheism, Newton never openly acknowledged the possibility of such an idea. Keywords: Isaac Newton, action at a distance, God, gravity, gravity law, gravitation DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.25823.92320

Summary
The interpretation of Isaac Newton's texts has sparked controversy to this day. One of the most heated debates relates to the action between two bodies distant from each other (the gravitational attraction), and to what extent Newton involved God in this case. Practically, most of the papers discuss four types of gravitational attractions in the case of remote bodies: direct distance action as intrinsic property of bodies in epicurean sense; direct remote action divinely mediated by God; remote action mediated by a material ether; or remote action mediated by an immaterial ether. The purpose of this paper is to argue that Newton categorically rejected the types of direct action as the intrinsic property of bodies, and remote action mediated by a material ether. Concerning the other two types of action, direct through divine intervention and mediated through an immaterial environment, Newton has repeatedly stated that he does not know the exact cause of gravity, but in both cases, he has directly involved God, directly in the first case and as the primary cause (the environment/ether being the secondary cause) in immaterial mediated action. But since recognition of direct distance action could have given some credit to those who thought gravity could be essential to matter, and hence to atheism, Newton never openly acknowledged the possibility of such an idea. Keywords: Isaac Newton, action at a distance, God, gravity, gravity law, gravitation DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.25823.92320

Excerpt
The interpretation of Isaac Newton's texts has sparked controversy to this day. One of the most heated debates relates to the action between two bodies distant from each other (the gravitational attraction), and to what extent Newton involved God in this case. Practically, most of the papers discuss four types of gravitational attractions in the case of remote bodies: direct distance action as intrinsic property of bodies in epicurean sense; direct remote action divinely mediated by God; remote action mediated by a material ether; or remote action mediated by an immaterial ether. The purpose of this paper is to argue that Newton categorically rejected the types of direct action as the intrinsic property of bodies, and remote action mediated by a material ether. Concerning the other two types of action, direct through divine intervention and mediated through an immaterial environment, Newton has repeatedly stated that he does not know the exact cause of gravity, but in both cases, he has directly involved God, directly in the first case and as the primary cause (the environment/ether being the secondary cause) in immaterial mediated action. But since recognition of direct distance action could have given some credit to those who thought gravity could be essential to matter, and hence to atheism, Newton never openly acknowledged the possibility of such an idea. Towards the end of his life, Newton leaned more toward a remote action mediated by an immaterial ether. In the argumentation of this opinion, I turned to the works of Andrew Janiak, Eric Schliesser John Henry, Hylarie Kochiras and Steffen Ducheyne.

Table of Contents
Abstract Introduction Principia Correspondence with Richard Bentley Queries in Opticks Conclusions Bibliography

 
 



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