Project (2017-2018)

The Emergence and Expansion of Preclassical Mechanics

This project purports to show that a version of mechanical knowledge, referred to here as preclassical mechanics, which is not reducible to Newtonian physics yet was rich in new results and coherent to a high degree, gained a certain degree of hegemony circa 1550–1650. This thesis is anchored in an account spanning a long period of the emergence of theoretical knowledge about mechanical phenomena from everyday experiences, the accumulation of practical know-how concerning tools and machines, and reflection and subsequent conceptualization of intuitive explanations for such knowledge. The results of the project were published as Emergence and Expansion of Preclassical Mechanics (Springer, 2018).