plausibly through the laws of mechanics.

Neither Huygens or Leibniz could accept action at a distance. Indeed, Newton himself was bothered by this:

That gravity should be innate, inherent and essential to matter so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum without the mediation of anything else by and through which their action or force may be conveyed from one to another is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters any competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain laws, but whether this agent be material or immaterial is a question I have left to the consideration of my readers.

Although he could offer no explanation for the cause of gravity, Newton's position was that the attraction itself was clear from observations. To most

0 0

Post a comment