Newton’s Scientific and Philosophical Legacy pp 239-252 | Cite as

# A Characterization of the Newtonian Paradigm

## Abstract

In previous papers,^{1} I successfully introduced constructive mathematics into theoretical physics. Unlike classical mathematics, (Cauchy — Weier-strass — Dedekind) constructive mathematics does not make use of actual infinity. It extends rational numbers to a denumerable field of real numbers, which, although more restricted than the field of classical mathematics, includes all common real numbers, and moreover introduces some subtle differences which are extremely relevant for a student of the foundations of physics. Historically, constructive mathematics did not gain the attention of mathematicians until 1967^{2}, although its formal beginnings date from the first years of our century. It substantially fulfills Duhem’s wish for an “approximation mathematics,” Poincaré’s idea of “physical continuum,” Weyl’s call for that “elementary mathematics” which is useful only to physics, and Bridgman’s hints at an “operationalist mathematics.”

## Keywords

Scientific Theory Physical Theory Physical Concept Basic Option Constructive Mathematic## Preview

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## Notes

- 1.A. Drago, Constructive mathematics and Carathéodory’s thermodynamics,
*Lett. N. Cimento 34*(1982) 52–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 1a.A Drago, Dimensional Analysis and Constructive Mathematics,
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*Not.SIF*suppl., 1986, p. 212). A. Drago, Koyré e la metafisica della scienza moderna, ibidem, pp. 119–123.Google Scholar - 16.This characterization of a “paradigm” differs from that offered by the structuralists because their “core” does not take any of the two basic options into account. Thus, their theory-nets would here become much more complex and split up. Instead, the present characterization is similar to the broad quadruple division of scientific theories suggested by V. Tonini, Le scelte della scienza, Nuova Universale Studium Roma, 1977, and to the four types of abstract productions relative to the four types of societies suggested by J. Galtung, Ideology and Methodology, Eijlers, Copenhaven, 1976, ch. I.Google Scholar
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*Phil. Sci. 50*, (1983) 205–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - 27.P.T. Landsberg, Thermodynamics, Interscience, New York, 1961. It is worth noting that constructive mathematics offers a principle linking discontinuity to undecidability, which is very useful for the analysis of physical conceptsGoogle Scholar
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- 28.A. Drago, Constructive Mathematics…, op. cit. n.1.Google Scholar
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