Duhem’s Analysis of Newtonian Method and the Logical Priority of Physics over Metaphysics

Eduardo Salles de Oliveira Barra, Ricardo Batista dos Santos


This article offers a discussion of Duhemian analysis of Newton's method in the Principia considering both the traditional response to this analysis (Popper et alii) and the more recent ones (Harper et alii).  It is argued that in General Scholium to the Principia, Newton is not advocating what Duhem suggests in his best-known criticism, but he is proposing something very close to the establishment of a logical priority of physics over metaphysics, a familiar thesis defended by the French physicist himself.



Pierre Duhem; Newton; universal gravitation; Newtonian method; Principia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24117/2526-2270.2017.i2.03


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ISSN: 2526-2270

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