Metaphysics and Scientific Proof: Newton and Hegel

  • James W. Garrison
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 136)


In the “general scholium” of the Principia, Newton announces that the universal law of gravitation was “deduced from the phenomena”.1 We can better comprehend this claim by following Dorling’s schema for “demonstrative induction”. Dorling’s schema alone, however, will not be enough. In order to follow Newton’s deduction we will need to recognize the role of what Hegel calls “an unspeakable metaphysics” that appears in the form of Newton’s “rules of reasoning in philosophy”. Our reflections will allow us to find at least three lines of well founded criticism in Hegel’s critique of Newton’s derivation of the universal law of gravitation.


Celestial Body Centripetal Force Additional Premise Universal Gravitation Scientific Proof 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • James W. Garrison

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