•  76
    Divergence of values and goals in participatory research
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 284-291. 2021.
    Public participation in scientific research has gained prominence in many scientific fields, but the theory of participatory research is still limited. In this paper, we suggest that the divergence of values and goals between academic researchers and public participants in research is key to analyzing the different forms this research takes. We examine two existing characterizations of participatory research: one in terms of public participants' role in the research, the other in terms of the vi…Read more
  •  5
    Definitions more geometrarum and Newton's scholium on space and time
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 179-191. 2020.
    Newton's Principia begins with eight formal definitions and a scholium, the so-called scholium on space and time. Despite a history of misinterpretation, scholars now largely agree that the purpose of the scholium is to establish and defend the de fi nitions of key concepts. There is no consensus, however, on how those definitions differ in kind from the Principia's formal definitions and why they are set-off in a scholium. The purpose of the present essay is to shed light on the scholium by focusin…Read more
  •  30
    Introduction to Newton and Empiricism
    In Zvi Biener & Eric Schliesser (eds.), Newton and Empiricism, Oxford University Press. pp. 1-15. 2014.
    The introduction considers the state of scholarship on empiricism as a philosophical and historical category, particularly as it pertains to experimental philosophy. It concludes that empiricism properly understood is a rich category encompassing epistemic, semantic, methodological, experimental, and moral elements. Its richness makes it a suitable lens through which to account for actual historical complexity. The introduction relates the category to the work of Sir Isaac Newton, who influenced…Read more
  •  189
    Isaac Newton (1642–1727)
    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2017.
    Isaac Newton is best known as a mathematician and physicist. He invented the calculus, discovered universal gravitation and made significant advances in theoretical and experimental optics. His master-work on gravitation, the Principia, is often hailed as the crowning achievement of the scientific revolution. His significance for philosophers, however, extends beyond the philosophical implications of his scientific discoveries. Newton was an able and subtle philosopher, working at a time when sc…Read more
  •  24
    From Kepler to Gibson
    with Vicente Raja and Anthony Chemero
    Ecological Psychology 29 (2): 136-160. 2017.
    We argue that the idea of embodiment and the strategies for carrying out embodied approaches are some of the most prevalent and interdisciplinary legacies of early modern science. The idea of embodiment is simple: to explain the behavior of bodies, we must understand them as unified wholes in their environments. Embodied approaches eschew explanations in terms of qualitative descriptions of the intrinsic properties of bodies and promote explanation in terms of the interaction between bodies. Thi…Read more
  •  188
    Newton began his Principia with three Axiomata sive Leges Motus. We offer an interpretation of Newton’s dual label and investigate two tensions inherent in his account of laws. The first arises from the juxtaposition of Newton’s confidence in the certainty of his laws and his commitment to their variability and contingency. The second arises because Newton ascribes fundamental status both to the laws and to the bodies and forces they govern. We argue the first is resolvable, but the second is no…Read more
  •  277
    Newton's Regulae Philosophandi
    In Chris Smeenk & Eric Schliesser (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Isaac Newton, Oxford University Press. 2018.
    Newton’s Regulae philosophandi—the rules for reasoning in natural philosophy—are maxims of causal reasoning and induction. This essay reviews their significance for Newton’s method of inquiry, as well as their application to particular propositions within the Principia. Two main claims emerge. First, the rules are not only interrelated, they defend various facets of the same core idea: that nature is simple and orderly by divine decree, and that, consequently, human beings can be justified in in…Read more
  •  19
    Newton and the ideal of exegetical success
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 60 82-87. 2016.
    Review Essay of ‘Isaac Newton’s Scientific Method’ by William L. Harper.
  •  37
    This volume is a collection of original essays focusing on a wide range of topics in the History and Philosophy of Science. It is a festschrift for Peter Machamer, which includes contributions from scholars who, at one time or another, were his students. The essays bring together analyses of issues and debates spanning from early modern science and philosophy through the 21st century. Machamer’s influence is reflected in the volume’s broad range of topics. These include: underdetermination, sci…Read more
  •  138
    I argue that Isaac Newton's De Gravitatione should not be considered an authoritative expression of his thought about the metaphysics of space and its relation to physical inquiry. I establish the following narrative: In De Gravitatione (circa 1668–84), Newton claimed he had direct experimental evidence for the work's central thesis: that space had "its own manner of existing" as an affection or emanative effect. In the 1710s, however, through the prodding of Roger Cotes and G. W. Leibniz, he ca…Read more
  •  158
    Teaching Newtonian physics involves the replacement of students’ ideas about physical situations with precise concepts appropriate for mathematical applications. This paper focuses on the concepts of ‘matter’ and ‘mass’. We suggest that students, like some pre-Newtonian scientists we examine, use these terms in a way that conflicts with their Newtonian meaning. Specifically, ‘matter’ and ‘mass’ indicate to them the sorts of things that are tangible, bulky, and take up space. In Newtonian…Read more
  •  68
    Galileo's first new science: The science of matter
    Perspectives on Science 12 (3): 262-287. 2004.
    : Although Galileo's struggle to mathematize the study of nature is well known and oft discussed, less discussed is the form this struggle takes in relation to Galileo's first new science, the science of the second day of the Discorsi. This essay argues that Galileo's first science ought to be understood as the science of matter—not, as it is usually understood, the science of the strength of materials. This understanding sheds light on the convoluted structure of the Discorsi's first day. It su…Read more
  •  17
  •  248
    Hobbes on the Order of Sciences: A Partial Defense of the Mathematization Thesis
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (3): 312-332. 2016.
    Accounts of Hobbes’s ‘system’ of sciences oscillate between two extremes. On one extreme, the system is portrayed as wholly axiomtic-deductive, with statecraft being deduced in an unbroken chain from the principles of logic and first philosophy. On the other, it is portrayed as rife with conceptual cracks and fissures, with Hobbes’s statements about its deductive structure amounting to mere window-dressing. This paper argues that a middle way is found by conceiving of Hobbes’s _Elements of Philo…Read more
  •  130
    Cotes’ Queries: Newton’s Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter
    In Eric Schliesser & Andrew Janiak (eds.), Interpreting Newton, Cambridge University Press. pp. 105-137. 2012.
    We argue that a conflict between two conceptions of “quantity of matter” employed in a corollary to proposition 6 of Book III of the Principia illustrates a deeper conflict between Newton’s view of the nature of extended bodies and the concept of mass appropriate for the theoretical framework of the Principia. We trace Newton’s failure to recognize the conflict to the fact that he allowed for the justification of natural philosophical claims by two types of a posteriori, empiricist methodologies…Read more
  •  10
    Newton and Empiricism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    This is the first volume of original commissioned papers on the subject of Newton and empiricism. The chapters, contributed by a leading team of both established and younger international scholars, explore the nature and extent of Newton's relationship to a variety of empiricisms and empiricists