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Isaac Newton's Scientific Method – Turning Data into Evidence about Gravity and Cosmology - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Isaac Newton's Scientific Method: Turning Data into Evidence about Gravity and Cosmology

William L. Harper


This book examines Newton’s argument for universal gravity and his application of it to resolve the problem of deciding between geocentric and heliocentric world systems by measuring masses of the sun and planets. Newton’s inferences from phenomena realize an ideal of empirical success that is richer than prediction. To achieve this rich sort of empirical success a theory needs, not only to accurately predict the phenomena it purports to explain, but also, to have those phenomena accurately measure the parameters which explain them. Newton’s method aims to turn theoretical questions into ones ... More

Keywords: Newton, empirical success, theory-mediated measurement, prediction, scientific progress, Einstein, gravity, cosmology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199570409
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570409.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William L. Harper, author
University of Western Ontario