•  3
    Who’s the greatest of them all? A non-technical explication of Newton’s method in the Principia accompanied by some philosophical reflectionsIn this essay, I seek to explicate the methodology which Newton used in the Principia in a non-technical way. Close attention will be paid to some important results in Books I and III of the Principia and to Newton’s argument for universal gravitation. Based on their discussion, Newton’s key inferential strategies will be brought to the fore. In addition, i…Read more
  •  54
    The philosophical background important to Mill’s theory of induction has two major components: Richard Whately’s introduction of the uniformity principle into inductive inference and the loss of the idea of formal cause.
  •  6
    Book review of Cesare Maffioli: La via delle acque arti e trasformazione delle matematiche. Firenze: L.S. Olschki 2010. 352 pp.
  •  4
    SUMMARYIn this paper I will probe into Herman Boerhaave's appropriation of Isaac Newton's natural philosophy. It will be shown that Newton's work served multiple purposes in Boerhaave's oeuvre, for he appropriated Newton's work differently in different contexts and in different episodes in his career. Three important episodes in, and contexts of, Boerhaave's appropriation of Newton's natural philosophical ideas and methods will be considered: 1710–11, the time of his often neglected lectures on …Read more
  •  8
    Thomas Reid on Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
    Annals of Science 75 (4): 369-371. 2018.
  •  104
    Galileo’s Interventionist Notion of “Cause‘
    Journal of the History of Ideas 67 (3): 443-464. 2006.
    In this essay, I shall take up the theme of Galileo’s notion of cause, which has already received considerable attention. I shall argue that the participants in the debate as it stands have overlooked a striking and essential feature of Galileo’s notion of cause. Galileo not only reformed natural philosophy, he also – as I shall defend – introduced a new notion of causality and integrated it in his scientific practice. Galileo’s conception of causality went hand in hand with his methodology. It …Read more
  •  4
    Curing Pansophia through Eruditum Nescire: Bernard Nieuwentijt’s Epistemology of Modesty
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (2): 272-301. 2017.
  •  47
    Pieter van Musschenbroek on laws of nature
    British Journal for the History of Science 50 (4): 637-656. 2017.
    In this article, we discuss the development of the concept of a ‘law’ (of nature) in the work of the Dutch natural philosopher and experimenter Petrus van Musschenbroek (1692–1761). Since Van Musschenbroek is commonly described as one of the first ‘Newtonians’ on the Continent in the secondary literature, we focus more specifically on its relation to Newton’s views on this issue. Although he was certainly indebted to Newton for his thinking on laws (of nature), Van Musschenbroek’s views can be s…Read more
  •  90
    Some Worries for Norton’s Material Theory of Induction
    Philosophia Naturalis 45 (1): 37-46. 2008.
    In this essay, I take the role as friendly commentator and call attention to three potential worries for John D. Norton’s material theory of induction. I attempt to show that his “principle argument” is based on a false dichotomy, that the idea that facts ultimately derive their license from matters of fact is debatable, and that one of the core implications of his theory is untenable for historical and fundamental reasons
  •  10
    Introduction
    with Wim Van Moer
    Philosophica 89. 2014.
  •  17
    Reid's adaptation and radicalization of Newton's natural philosophy
    History of European Ideas 32 (2): 173-189. 2006.
    For Thomas Reid, Isaac Newton's scientific methodology in natural philosophy was a source of inspiration for philosophical methodology in general. I shall look at how Reid adapted Newton's views on methodology in natural philosophy. We shall see that Reid radicalized Newton's methodology and, thereby, begins to pave the way for the positivist movement, of which the origin is traditionally associated with the Frenchman Auguste Comte. In the Reidian adaptation of Newtonianism, we can already notic…Read more
  •  22
    Newton’s notion and practice of unification
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1): 61-78. 2005.
    n this paper I deal with a neglected topic with respect to unification in Newton’s Principia. I will clarify Newton’s notion and practice of unification . In order to do so, I will use the recent theories on unification as tools of analysis . I will argue, after showing that neither Kitcher’s nor Schurz’s account aptly capture Newton’s notion and practice of unification, that Salmon’s later work is a good starting point for analysing this notion and its practice in the Principia. Finally, I will…Read more
  •  11
    Recent findings on Newton's heretical beliefs in the five draft versions of the General Scholium, which was added to the second edition of the Principia in 1713, are discussed here. We shall use these snapshots as a tool to gain understanding into the process of composition of the theological material from the General Scholium
  •  27
    Nowadays, it is a truism that hypotheses and theories play an essential role in scientific practice. This, however, was far from an obvious given in seventeenth-century British natural philosophy. Different natural philosophers had different views on the role and status of hypotheses and theories, ranging from fierce promotion to bold rejection, and to both they ascribed varying meanings and connotations. The guiding idea of this chapter is that, in seventeenth-century British natural philosophy…Read more
  •  49
    Mathematical and philosophical Newton Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9520-2 Authors Steffen Ducheyne, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
  •  1
    The Cambridge companion to Newton
    Philosophy of Science 72 (3): 506-508. 2005.
  •  19
    In this essay, a manuscript description and analysis of Isaac Newton's manuscript 'Of the Church' is provided.
  •  74
    Scientific Representations as Limiting Cases
    Erkenntnis 76 (1): 73-89. 2012.
    In this essay, I shall show that the so-called inferential (Suárez 2003 and 2004 ) and interpretational (Contessa 2007 ) accounts of scientific representation are respectively unsatisfactory and too weak to account for scientific representation ( pars destruens ). Along the way, I shall also argue that the pragmatic similarity (Giere 2004 and Giere 2010 ) and the partial isomorphism (da Costa and French 2003 and French 2003 ) accounts are unable to single out scientific representation. In the pa…Read more
  •  23
    In this essay, I will scrutinize the differences between Galileo's and Huygens's demonstrations of free fall, which can be found respectively in the Discorsi and the Horologium, from a mathematical, representational and methodological perspective. I argue that more can be learnt from such an analysis than the thesis that Huygens re-styled Galilean mechanics which is a communis opinio. I shall argue that the differences in their approach on free fall highlight a significantly different mathematic…Read more
  •  106
    Towards an Ontology of Scientific Models
    Metaphysica 9 (1): 119-127. 2008.
    Scientific models occupy centre stage in scientific practice. Correspondingly, in recent literature in the philosophy of science, scientific models have been a focus of research. However, little attention has been paid so far to the ontology of scientific models. In this essay, I attempt to clarify the issues involved in formulating an informatively rich ontology of scientific models. Although no full-blown theory—containing all ontological issues involved—is provided, I make several distinction…Read more
  •  24
    In this essay, I will bring several hitherto neglected sources, which pertain to Petrus van Musschenbroek’s unpublished manuscripts, to the fore. The folios at hand show that Musschenbroek read and actively engaged with Spinoza’s Ethica. More precisely, it will be shown that Musschenbroek held clear-cut anti-Spinozistic convictions.
  •  500
    This article seeks to provide a historically well-informed analysis of an important post-Newtonian area of research in experimental physics between 1798 and 1898, namely the determination of the mean density of the earth and, by the end of the nineteenth century, the gravitational constant. Traditionally, research on these matters is seen as a case of “puzzle solving.” In this article, the author shows that such focus does not do justice to the evidential significance of eighteenth- and nineteen…Read more