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Single Idea 20969

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 2. Thermodynamics / c. Conservation of energy]

Full Idea

A barrier to the formulation of an energy conservation principle by early Newtonians was their lack of a notion of potential energy.

Gist of Idea

Early Newtonians could not formulate conservation of energy, having no concept of potential energy

Source

report of Isaac Newton (Principia Mathematica [1687]) by David Papineau - Thinking about Consciousness App 3 n5

A Reaction

Interestingly, the notions of potentiality and actuality were central to Aristotle, but Newtonians had just rejected all of that.

Book Reference

Papineau,David: 'Thinking about Consciousness' [OUP 2004], p.239