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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

20 - New doctrines of motion

from IV - Body and the physical world
Summary
An enhanced status of motion within new conceptual frameworks had far-reaching effects in early modern natural philosophy. Since local motion was the only category of motion that had genuine explanatory work to do in the new scheme of things, its treatment differed in notable respects from what had been typical of the Peripatetic tradition. Opposition between realist and nominalist doctrines of motion is reflected in the innovative analyses of motion of the seventeenth century. Not only did Aristotle nominate local motion as the primary motion, he nominated circular or rotational motion as the primary kind of local motion. This discrimination between circular and rectilinear motion became a standard element in Peripatetic teaching and was a staple item in the scholastic physics manuals. A relativity principle is often attributed to Descartes. Such an attribution is misleading, if it implies a principle that mirrored the Galilean or inspired the Huygenian relativity principle.
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The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055451
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521307635
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