PhilSci Archive

Newton’s Bucket Experiment: Fictional or Real?

Solomon, Monica (2022) Newton’s Bucket Experiment: Fictional or Real? In: UNSPECIFIED.

[img]
Preview
Text
Newton Bucket Experiment PSA 2022.pdf

Download (175kB) | Preview

Abstract

Newton’s example of a revolving bucket filled with water is one of the most well-known experiments in the philosophy of physics. It is usually interpreted as an argument for the existence of absolute space. In this paper I challenge this interpretation. In line with recent literature, I explain that a target of the example is the inadequacy of Descartes’s definition of motion. But I also a raise a serious problem for the current reading which comes from the attribution of “absolute and true circular motion” to the water revolving inside the bucket. The solution resides in an examination of Newton’s meticulous experimental setup as a self-contained, realistic description of how the quantity of true motion of a body of water changes (under which conditions and with what kind of effects). I argue that the example should be read as real experiment and that it exemplifies a double methodological aspect. The example presents an analysis of true motion which connects (i) the concrete causes of changes in motion with (ii) their quantitative representation.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Solomon, Monicamonicadriana.solomon@gmail.com0000-0001-8719-428X
Keywords: Isaac Newton, bucket experiment, space and time scholium
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Monica Solomon
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2022 15:32
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 15:32
Item ID: 21367
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: April 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21367

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item