The Department of Philosophy welcomes Christopher Pincock presenting "Newton, Laplace and Salmon on Explaining the Tides".

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The Department of Philosophy welcomes Christopher Pincock presenting “Newton, Laplace and Salmon on Explaining the Tides” for the Titus-Hepp Lecture Series. Pincock states: “Salmon cites Newton’s explanation of the tides in support of a causal account of scientific explanation. In this paper I reconsider the details of how Newton and his successors actually succeeded in explaining several key features of the tides. It turns out that these explanations depend on elements that are not easily interpreted in causal terms. I use the explanations offered after Newton to indicate two different ways that non-causal factors can be significant for scientific explanation. In Newton’s equilibrium explanation, only a few special features of the tides can be explained. A later explanation deploys a kind of harmonic analysis to provide an informative classification of the tides at different locations. I consider the options for making sense of these explanations.” Christopher Pincock is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the Ohio State University. His research is centered on the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of science and the history of analytic philosophy.


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