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Physics in the Broad Sense. Boyle, Newton, and the Baconian Metaphysical Physics

Abstract : Although Boyle’s and Newton’s conceptions of the relation between physics and metaphysics can be considered as critical responses to Descartes, this chapter shows that these responses should not be interpreted in the positivist guise that was long prevalent in the standard account of British science. What makes the positions of Newton, Boyle, and other “experimental philosophers” distinctive is not so much a straight rejection of what Daniel Garber has labeled Descartes’ metaphysical physics, but rather another conception of it, partly grounded in the Baconian understanding of the architecture of natural knowledge. This conception allows physics, in an enlarged sense of the word, to include the metaphysical consideration of primary and final causes, as well as forms and essences.
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Philippe Hamou. Physics in the Broad Sense. Boyle, Newton, and the Baconian Metaphysical Physics. Delphine Antoine-Mahut; Sophie Roux. Physics and Metaphysics in Descartes and in his Reception, Taylor & Francis, pp.192-216, 2018. ⟨hal-02326971⟩



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