W. J. ‘s Gravesande’s Appropriation of Newton’s Natural Philosophy, Part I: Epistemological and Theological issues

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Abstract

In this essay I reassess Willem Jacob 's Gravesande's Newtonianism. I draw attention to 's Gravesande's a-causal rendering of physics which went against Newton's causal understanding of natural philosophy and to his attempt to establish a solid foundation for the certainty of Newton's natural philosophy, which he considered as a powerful antidote against the theological aberrations of Descartes and especially Spinoza. I argue that, although 's Gravesande clearly took inspiration from Newton's natural philosophy, he was running his own scientific and intellectual agenda and that he was combining Newtonian and non-Newtonian elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-55
Number of pages25
JournalCentaurus
Volume56
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Isaac Newton
  • W. J. 's Gravesande
  • 18th-century Newtonianism
  • Spinozism
  • History and Philosophy of Scientific Methodology

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