ArgLab • Seminar

Forces and Fields

María de Paz

This seminar session is dedicated to one of the first works published by Mary Hesse, “Forces and Fields” (1961).

In that book, Hesse focuses on the question “How do bodies act on one another across space?”, elaborating a variety of answers that illustrates the function of fundamental analogies or models in physics, as well as the role of so-called unobservable entities. Hesse examines the use of analogies in primitive scientific explanation, particularly in the works of aristotle, and contrast them with latter-day theories such as those of gravitation and relativity. Her perspective sheds considerable light on the scientific thinking of antiquity, and it highlights the debt that the seventeenth-century natural philosophers owed to Greek ideas.

María de Paz (Universidad de Sevilla)

The session will take place within the scope of the activities of the research project ‘Mary B. Hesse’s “New Epistemology”. Principles and Legacy‘, coordinated by Pietro Gori (CultureLab/IFILNOVA), and within the scope of the activities of the research group Lisbon Mind, Cognition & Knowledge Group, coordinated by Robert Clowes (ArgLab/IFILNOVA).