There was a serious defect to all of the programs preceding field theory: their proponents all took Newtonian philosophy to be perfectly correct.
The alleged perfection of Newtonian philosophy had to rest on its alleged certitude, of course and the alleged certitude of Newtonian philosophy created epistemological difficulties: whence this certitude?
It is this method that Smith finds at its most striking in Newton: "But of all the attempts of the Newtonian Philosophy
, that which would appear to be the most above the reach of human reason and experience, is the attempt to compute the weights and densities of the Sun, and of the Several Planets.
The immediate impact of Einstein's theory on a Newtonian philosophy of nature is seen especially with regard to the notion of forces.
A closer look at the pneumatological framework of Newtonian physics reveals that at the heart of the Newtonian philosophy of nature stands the possibility of a direct, divine activity in creation, that is, at the least, a causal relationship between God's existence and the activity of the cosmos through a vital spirit.
Desaguliers was an ardent advocate of Newtonian philosophy
, and used it to disparage that of Descartes (1745, p.
Depew and Weber themselves make a convincing case that Herschel's 'law of higgledy-piggledy' dismissal of The Origin was driven by a Newtonian philosophy
Rather, he says, "science in general and the Newtonian philosophy
in particular served to provide acceptable metaphors for discussion or argument.