Posts Tagged ‘science philosophy and education’

No, you don’t understand what’s going on.

November 4, 2007

No, you don’t understand what’s going on. The situation you just described is explained in Def. 5-8, among other places. As I’ve noted before, although this principle is assumed it is certainly not what is being demonstrated in the example I posted. This particular principle you’re thinking is being described is illustrated by means of a bucket of water spinning around, I believe, and is only a stepping stone to the example I posted.

The phrase “inertial reference frame” appears no where that I can find in my edition of the Principia nor is it listed in the index; I also highly doubt its just a translational issue. This leads me to believe you’re just spouting shit that’s been spoonfed to you instead of actually knowing anything about what Newton said for himself.

By the way, Galileo’s understanding of relativity is a far cry away from the kinds of motion Newton discusses at least in this opening scholium (at least regarding his Two New Sciences and the Principia); same goes for Huygens which is much closer to the what you’re trying to make Newton say. Unfortunately the name has stuck leading to all sorts of misconceptions concerning the subtle differences among these three authors.

read this about 8 times and then remember that for Newton, there are absolute spaces: “It is certainly very difficult to find out the true motions of individual bodies and actually to differentiate them from apparent motions, because the parts of that immovable space in which the bodies truly move make no impression on the senses. Nevertheless, the case is not utterly hopeless. For it is possible to draw evidence partly from apparent motions, which are the differences between the true motions, and partly from the forces that are the causes and effects of the true motions.”

“True motion” is earlier equated with “mathematical” or “absolute” motion; it is defined as “motion from one absolute place to another” in the third paragraph of the scholium. If you can somehow take this as meaning “there is only relative motion” have at it; that is all I am trying to ask.