• The fate of the date: The theology of Newton's principia revised
    In Margaret J. Osler (ed.), Rethinking the Scientific Revolution, Cambridge University Press. pp. 271--96. 2000.
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  • Science Unfettered: A Philosophical Study in Sociohistorial Ontology
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 40 (4): 438-441. 2001.
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    One of the earliest and most influential treatises on the subject of this volume is Aristotle's Categories. Aristotle's title is a form of the Greek verb for speaking against or submitting an accusation in a legal proceeding. By the time of Aristotle, it also meant: to signify or to predicate. Surprisingly, the "predicates" Aristotle talks about include not only bits of language, but also such nonlinguistic items as the color white in a body and the knowledge of grammar in a man's soul. (Categor…Read more
  •  28
    Certain Philosophical Questions: Newton's Trinity Notebook
    with Dudley Shapere and Martin Tamny
    Philosophical Review 95 (1): 102. 1986.
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    Philoponus on Physics ii 1
    Ancient Philosophy 5 (2): 241-267. 1985.
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    This is a response to two reviews of our book "Science Unfettered: A Philosophical Study of Sociohistorical Ontology." We clarify the relationship between the ontological and the ontic, the key phrases: 'being-in-the-world,' the 'facticity' of human existence. We show where the sources of reviewers misunderstandings lie.
  •  3
    Newtonian Essays (review)
    British Journal for the History of Science 3 (1): 84-85. 1966.
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    Chapter five. Mind, intuition, innateness, and ideas
    In Peter K. Machamer (ed.), Descartes's Changing Mind, Princeton University Press. pp. 164-197. 2009.
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    Foresight and understanding
    Philosophical Books 3 (3): 15-17. 1962.
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    Descartes's Changing Mind
    Princeton University Press. 2009.
    Descartes's works are often treated as a unified, unchanging whole. But in Descartes's Changing Mind, Peter Machamer and J. E. McGuire argue that the philosopher's views, particularly in natural philosophy, actually change radically between his early and later works--and that any interpretation of Descartes must take account of these changes. The first comprehensive study of the most significant of these shifts, this book also provides a new picture of the development of Cartesian science, epist…Read more
  •  13
    There is a thematic unity to these essays on Newton's thought: they are concerned with the central categories of Newton's metaphysics of nature (matter, causation, force, space, time) and the ways in which Newton's work relates to cultural themes such as providence and creation. Focusing on questions of tradition and innovation and Newton's engaged response to the broader patterns of his contemporary culture, they present a unified, interpretive stance that often challenges the scholarly orthodo…Read more
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    Aristotle’s Great Clock
    Philosophy Research Archives 12 387-448. 1986.
    This paper offers a detailed account of arguments in De Caelo I by which Aristotle tried to demonstrate the necessity of the perpetual existence and the perpetual rotation of the cosmos. On our interpretation, Aristotle’s arguments are naturalistic. Instead of being based (as many have thought) on rules of logic and language, they depend, we argue, on natural science theories about abilities (δυνάμεις), e.g., to move and to change, which things have by nature and about the conditions under which…Read more
  •  6
    John Locke: Problems and Perspectives (review)
    British Journal for the History of Science 5 (1): 101-102. 1970.
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    Existence, actuality and necessity: Newton on space and time
    Annals of Science 35 (5): 463-508. 1978.
    This study considers Newton's views on space and time with respect to some important ontologies of substance in his period. Specifically, it deals in a philosophico-historical manner with his conception of substance, attribute, existence, to actuality and necessity. I show how Newton links these “features” of things to his conception of God's existence with respect of infinite space and time. Moreover, I argue that his ontology of space and time cannot be understood without fully appreciating ho…Read more
  •  70
    We argue that Isaac Newton really is best understood as being in the tradition of the Mechanical Philosophy and, further, that Newton saw himself as being in this tradition. But the tradition as Newton understands it is not that of Robert Boyle and many others, for whom the Mechanical Philosophy was defined by contact action and a corpuscularean theory of matter. Instead, as we argue in this paper, Newton interpreted and extended the Mechanical Philosophy's slogan “matter and motion” in referenc…Read more
  • Commentary
    with Martin Tamny
  •  63
    Isaac Newton wrote the manuscript Questiones quaedam philosophicae at the very beginning of his scientific career. This small notebook thus affords rare insight into the beginnings of Newton's thought and the foundations of his subsequent intellectual development. The Questiones contains a series of entries in Newton's hand that range over many topics in science, philosophy, psychology, theology, and the foundations of mathematics. These notes, written in English, provide a very detailed picture…Read more
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    An Annotated Translation of Plotinus Ennead iii 7
    with Stephen K. Strange
    Ancient Philosophy 8 (2): 251-271. 1988.
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    A dialogue with Descartes: Newton's ontology of true and immutable natures
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1): 103-125. 2007.
    : This article is concerned with Newton's appropriation of Descartes' ontology of true and immutable natures in developing his theory of infinitely extended space. It contends that unless the part played by the Platonic distinction between "being a nature" and "having a nature" in Newton's thinking is properly appreciated the foundation of his doctrine of space in relation to God will not be fully understood. It also contends that Newton's Platonism is consistent with his empiricism once the med…Read more
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    Chapter 12. Natural Motion and Its Causes: Newton on the “Vis Insita” of Bodies
    In Mary Louise Gill & James G. Lennox (eds.), Self-Motion: From Aristotle to Newton, Princeton University Press. pp. 305-330. 2017.
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    Newton on Place, Time, and God: An Unpublished Source
    British Journal for the History of Science 11 (2): 114-129. 1978.
    Manuscript Add. 3965, section 13, folios 541r–542r and 545r–546r is in the Portsmouth Collection of manuscripts and housed in the University Library, Cambridge. These drafts contain a careful account, in Newton's hand, of his views on place, time, and God. They are part of a large number of drafts relating to the three official editions of the Principia published in Newton's lifetime