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Descartes, Leibnitz, Newton and Modern Physics: Plenum, Action at a Distance and Locality

Jenner Barretto Bastos-Filho
Year: 1996
This paper concerns the competition among scientifical research programmes. Two different historical moments are considered.  The first moment concerns some aspects of Cartesian, Leibnizian and Newtonian sciences and the second one concerns some aspects of Bohr's and Einstein's conceptions of natural philosophy. In both cases, the categories od space, time and cause constitute the underlying fundamental concepts. Possible similarities and differences between both moments are also explored. It is stressed that the real development of science incorporates, in a very intricate way, conceptions of rival scientific research programmes. Science is much more complex and interesting than simply to say that "this works" or "this does not work".