In the late seventeenth century, two programmatic rivals struggled for supremacy as the successor to Aristotelian natural philosophy. The better-established of the two, Cartesianism, was based on the work of René Descartes (the English word seems to date from the 1650s), and championed his approach of accounting for all natural phenomena in terms of mechanical interactions between particles of inert matter. The other, Newtonianism, was developed at the end of the century in explicit opposition to Cartesianism, and justified itself with reference to experimentalism and the mathematical treatment of forces.
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- Chapter Eight