more from Isaac Newton

Single Idea 8340

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory]

Full Idea

You sometimes speak of gravity as essential and inherent in matter. Pray do no ascribe that notion to me; for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know.

Gist of Idea

I do not pretend to know the cause of gravity


Isaac Newton (Letters to Bentley [1692], 1693.01.17)

Book Reference

Newton,Isaac: 'Philosophical Writings' [CUP 2004], p.100

A Reaction

I take science to be a two-stage operation - first we discern the regularities, and then we explain them. Evolution was spotted, then explained by Darwin. Cancer from cigarettes was spotted, but hasn't been explained. Regularity is the beginning.