Mass, Gravity, and Motion

Colin McGinn

in Basic Structures of Reality

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841103
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919529 | DOI:
Mass, Gravity, and Motion

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This chapter examines the interrelationship between two sorts of movement—that of bodies exerting gravity and that of bodies acted upon by gravity. The easier it is for a body to move another by contact, the easier it is to move another by gravity; and the harder it is to move a body by contact (or by gravity), the easier it is for that body to move another by gravity. What we have here is a systematic interrelationship between sets of movements, mediated by mass. The general and basic truth expressed by the law of gravity is therefore that one sort of movement that is related by law with another. We can thus predict the movement of remote objects, using the law, from information about the local movement properties of a given object (i.e., from its inertia).

Keywords: law of gravity; motion; inertia; mass

Chapter.  3057 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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