Chapter

Historical Context of Cartesian Physics

Emily R. Grosholz

in Cartesian Method and the Problem of Reduction

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780198242505
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680502 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242505.003.0006
Historical Context of                         Cartesian Physics

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • History of Western Philosophy

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter compares in some detail Descartes's scientific achievements with those of his contemporaries. It explores the difficulties that Cartesian reduction posed for the application of mathematics to various processes and problems in the natural sciences. Generations of scholars have noticed that Descartes's claim to mathematize physics was a philosophical promise that he was effectively unable to keep. The discussion holds that the way in which Cartesian method impoverishes as well as organizes the field to which it is applied renders geometry as inapt for physics as it leaves physics unready for important new developments in mathematics.

Keywords: Cartesian reduction; Cartesian Physics; mathematics; natural sciences

Chapter.  5391 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.