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Single Idea 20966

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / c. Forces]

Full Idea

Newton allowed forces other than impact. All the earlier proponents of 'mechanical philosophy' took it as given that all physical action is by contact. ...He thought of 'impressed force' - disembodied entities acting from outside a body.

Gist of Idea

Newton introduced forces other than by contact


report of Isaac Newton (Principia Mathematica [1687]) by David Papineau - Thinking about Consciousness App 3

A Reaction

This is 'action at a distance', which was as bewildering then as quantum theory is now. Newton had a divinity to impose laws of nature from the outside. In some ways we have moved back to the old view, with the actions of bosons and fields.

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.237