On Force in Cartesian Physics

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Manchak, John Byron
preprint description
There does not seem to be a consistent way to ground the concept of “force” in Cartesian first principles. In this paper, I examine various attempts at this. I argue that each attempt (as presented) carries with it unavoidable problems that undermine its feasibility. Next, I offer a alternative interpretation of force–one that I believe is coherent and consistent with Descartes’ project. Not only does the new position avoid the problems of previous interpretations, but it does so in such a way as to support and justify those previous interpretations.