Hume's Philosophical Development by James H. Noxon

By James H. Noxon

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Commentators stress Newton's aversion to controversy, a trait upon which Newton himself commented often enough. The same point might be made more precisely by saying that Newton resented criticism. He could not bear to be contradicted. His initial response to criticism of his first paper was a threat to resign from science, or at least from scientific publication. He was annoyed by Oldenburg's involving him in polemics, and complained to him that 'a man must either resolve to put out nothing new, or to become a slave to defend it'.

G. that gravitational force may be transmitted through an exceedingly rare, elastic aether. Query 31 illustrates the approved procedure, with the obvious qualification that the question itself clearly implies the working hypothesis of a force acting between the particles of physical objects: 'Quest. 31. Have not the small Particles of Bodies certain Powers, Virtues, or Forces, by which they act at a distance . . ' 68 Reasoning by analogy with the forces of gravity, magnetism, and electricity known to act between gross bodies, it seems 'not improbable' that the cohesive force binding the particles is also one of attraction: For Nature is very consonant and conformable to herself.

That gravitational force may be transmitted through an exceedingly rare, elastic aether. Query 31 illustrates the approved procedure, with the obvious qualification that the question itself clearly implies the working hypothesis of a force acting between the particles of physical objects: 'Quest. 31. Have not the small Particles of Bodies certain Powers, Virtues, or Forces, by which they act at a distance . . ' 68 Reasoning by analogy with the forces of gravity, magnetism, and electricity known to act between gross bodies, it seems 'not improbable' that the cohesive force binding the particles is also one of attraction: For Nature is very consonant and conformable to herself.

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