Warum Naturphilosophie?

Isaac Newton – eigentlich Naturphilosoph – wird heute vorwiegend als Naturwissenschaftler betrachtet. Dazu hat er selbst beigetragen, indem er spekulative Elemente aus späteren Ausgaben seiner Werke tilgte.*

The proper task of philosophy … is to keep alive rational – that is, imaginative and critical – thinking about … our most fundamental problem of all … : How can our human world, the world as it appears to us, the world we live in and see, touch, hear and smell, the world of living things, people, consciousness, free will, meaning and value … exist and best flourish embedded as it is in the physical Universe?

Nicholas Maxwell: Natural Philosophy redux | aeon.co 2019-05-13

* Wer’s genauer wissen will, für den schreibt Nicholas Maxwell in o. g. Artikel:

… the first edition of Newton’s Principia was quite explicitly a … work of natural philosophy. There are … nine propositions all clearly labelled as hypotheses, some quite clearly of a metaphysical character. By the third edition, the first two of these hypotheses had become the first two rules of reasoning, and the last five hypotheses, which concern the solar system, had become the phenomena of later editions. One hypothesis disappears altogether, and one other, not required for the main argument, was tucked away among theorems.

In the third edition there are two further rules of reasoning, both inductive in character. In connection with the second of these, Newton comments:

This rule we must follow, that the argument for induction may not be evaded by hypotheses.

And he adds the following remarks concerning induction and hypotheses:

… whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical … have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy, particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction. Thus it was that … the laws of motion and of gravitation were discovered.

In these and other ways, Newton sought to transform his … work in natural philosophy into a work of inductive science.