more from Isaac Newton

Single Idea 17021

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations]

Full Idea

The causes assigned to natural effects of the same kind must be, so far as possible, the same. For example, the cause of respiration in man and beast.

Gist of Idea

Natural effects of the same kind should be assumed to have the same causes


Isaac Newton (Principia Mathematica [1687], Bk 3 Rule 2)

Book Reference

Newton,Isaac: 'Philosophical Writings' [CUP 2004], p.87

A Reaction

It is impossible to rule out identical effects from differing causes, but explanation gets much more exciting (because wide-ranging) if Newton's rule is assumed.