To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In the last thirty years, both the belief that the mechanical philosophy is an adequate historical category and the conviction that it made a positive contribution to the sciences were deconstructed. Hence the question addressed in this chapter: What to do with the mechanical philosophy? The chapter begins with a terminological enquiry about ‘mechanical philosophy’ as an emic category, and compares the use of the term on the Continent and across the Channel. It is then suggested that we examine controversies in which mechanical philosophers, having defined themselves in opposition to other natural philosophers, made explicit their expectations with regard to physical explanations. Three such controversies are discussed: one about the motion of the heart (Descartes versus Plempius); one about the elasticity of the air (Boyle versus More); and one about the universal attraction of bodies (Huygens and Leibniz versus Newton). Finally, to counter negative evaluations of the mechanical philosophy, the chapter points out the cognitive advantages of structural explanations, to which the mechanical explanations belonged.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.