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Newton’s philosophy of science subject of lecture

The centrepiece of Sir Isaac Newton’s work Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687, is radically different from the body of scientific work which preceded it, says the chair of UWindsor’s Research Ethics Board.

“Newton shows a disdain for hypotheses, metaphysical or physical, and expresses this with his celebrated hypothesis non fingo – I feign no hypotheses,” says Pierre Boulos. “Historians and philosophers of science have long debated this admission.”

In a free public lecture Wednesday which he hopes will be of interest to scientists, philosophers, and historians of science, Dr. Boulos will explore a related event to shed “light” on Newton’s methodological and metaphysical commitments.

“My story will be informed by the events which surround Newton’s famous 1672 prism experiment and the debate surrounding it,” he says.

Entitled “Newton and Deductions from the Phenomena,” his lecture is presented by the Humanities Research Group as part of its Martin Wesley Series, and will begin at 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall’s McPherson Lounge.