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NEWTON E I FENOMENI DELLA VITA

In: Nuncius
Authors:
EMANUELA TRUCCO (Parma)

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MAURIZIO MAMIANI (Universit di Udine)

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Abstract

title SUMMARY /title There is plain evidence that the De motu et sensatione Animalium and De vita morte vegetabili, here edited, are two drafts of an intended appendix for the second edition (1713) of Newton's Principia. In these manuscripts, Newton is explaining by means of electrical attraction a large class of phenomena: the cohesion of the small particles of bodies, the sensation and movement of animals, the fermentation and the chemical qualities that distinguish inorganic from organic matter. Newton is attempting to overwhelm the Cartesian dualism between res cogitans and res extensa by proposing electric spirit as a medium that unifies mind and body. After a first attempt of considering electricity in its own action, Newton is compelled by analogy among electric attraction, light and heat towards more and more unverifiable hypotheses.

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