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Isaac Newton's Experimental Astronomy

"Isaac Newton’s Experimental Astronomy" is being revised.
It is a sequel to "Francis Bacon’s Skeptical Recipes for New Knowledge" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
In the sequel, I describe how theological ambivalence in Elizabethan England indirectly led to the birth of secular natural science as we know it.
In the secular space the ambivalence created, I suggest how -
• the Royal Society adopted Francis Bacon’s experimental method
• Isaac Newton used it to plot the comets of 1680 and 1682
• he built the System of the World by applying the lessons the comets taught him
• he solved the whole contentious puzzle of astronomy with his new experimental physics.
The same theological ambivalence also led to liberal democracy, and I suggest how -
• ethical and political difficulties sprang out of it that John Locke resolved
• he promoted religious peace by assuming empiricism: the Pax Empirica
• the new peace proposal made experimentalism seem incoherent when stated
• the tacit use of experimentalism led to a growing density of scientific knowledge
• the experimental natural science that evolved is what we admire today.

 

I thank YorkSpace at York University Libraries for hosting my Preface on open access pages at https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/items/b6630bd6-fc10-4e73-a4c3-c2040299e53a and Katy Keylis for helping me with the website and ORCID.