PhilSci Archive

Mach's Principle and Mach's Hypotheses

Fay, Jonathan (2023) Mach's Principle and Mach's Hypotheses. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
Mach_s_Principle_and_Mach_s_Hypotheses.pdf

Download (171kB) | Preview

Abstract

We argue that the driving thought behind Mach’s critique of Newton’s first law consists in the assertion that inertial motion is not motion in the absence of causes; rather, it is motion whose cause lies in some homogeneous aspect of the environment. We distinguish this formal requirement (Mach’s principle) from two hypotheses which Mach considers concerning the origin of inertia: that the distant stars play a (1) merely “collateral” or (2) “fundamental” role in the causal determination of inertial motion. This interpretation is made possible by close attention to some of Mach’s earliest writings. We propose that much of the controversy in secondary literature concerning the definition of Mach’s principle stems from Mach’s deliberate avoidance of explicitly referring to the concept of causation in subsequent writings.


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

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fay, Jonathanhi20625@bristol.ac.uk
Keywords: Mach Inertia Causation
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Mr. Jonathan Fay
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 16:42
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 16:42
Item ID: 22555
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 23 July 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22555

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item