Conservation and Contrariety: The Logical Foundations of Cartesian Physics
The general theory of matter presented by Descartes in the second book of the Principia Philosophiae is the first well founded systematic physical theory of modem science; for it explicitly introduces the logical presuppositions necessary for a system of causal explanations of physical phenomena using equations. While it is true that Descartes himself takes very little advantage of the possibilities created by the introduction of these prerequisites (there is, for instance, very little mathematics, no formal equations, and few proportions in the Principia itself), he nonetheless determines basic requirements of such a system of explanations and provides conceptual instruments adequate for the formation of such a physical theory.
KeywordsConceptual System Scalar Magnitude Tennis Ball Conservation Principle Oblique Impact
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