Construction d'un concept de temps mathématiquement manipulable en philosophie naturelle

Abstract : By looking for the law of centripetal force registered in the Mathematical Principles of the Natural Philosophy, Newton gave to time a status of privileged magnitude of natural philosophy. However, this one appears in a ambiguous way, sometimes discrete magnitude, sometimes continuous magnitude. Its mathematical manipulation, which rests essentially on the Method of first and last ratios and on the law of areas, lets appear a time of geometrical nature. Confronted, in the proposal x of the book II, with the resolution of the movement of a mobile which tests a resistance which is proportional in the square of its speed, Newton does not succeed in solving this proposal by means of the geometry. It is forced to resume its reasoning and to resort to an algebraic method in order to express in a just way the solution of this proposal, in which the time appears then under an algébraic shape, represented by a letter. So, from a geometrical time, represented by an element of space in the edition of 1687, Newton made an entity per se represented by a letter in proposal x of the 1713 edition. But it is to Varignon, who approached the proposals of the Principia by means of the differential calculus, that we owe the end of the "mathematization" and the finalization of the concept of mathematical time
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Vincent Daudon. Construction d'un concept de temps mathématiquement manipulable en philosophie naturelle. Histoire, Philosophie et Sociologie des sciences. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017USPCC241⟩. ⟨tel-01721309v2⟩

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