It seems intuitively obvious that Newton would have puzzled over the one property of corpuscular matter that could not be explained in his time. That he went back to the Ancient Greeks and before to see what the Fathers had said of it is typically characteristic of his mindset. Modernity had little to teach him or others. Modernity is a fahion or stylistic Aesthetic, therefore it has no intrinsic value. One always has to go back to the deep philosophers and empiricists of Earlier times.
Of couse, we all love a bit of window dressing, We love the Frissance of the now, being alive in the moment, and that is good. But in terms od understanding and apprehension we have to go back. Even the proponents of Fashion go back to ancient aesthetic principles in the Summetria. the tables of architectural and sculptural design rules.
So Why stickiness?
Newton at the beginning of Principia barely mentions the 5 powers of Mechanics. This i fact is his veiled reference to his Alchemical work. The Alchemical powers are Earth, Liquid or Water, Airs or Wind, Wood or fire and Manor beast. It is a stretch of the imagination to see that these powers are the basis of our periodic table in chemistry, stripped down reworked and "modernised". But they are.
A cursory overview of the development of the periodic table eloquently illustrates how the Western Rennaissance movement took the Islamic Alchemical Knowledge, and through secret experimentation and application of these principles, gatheredby the Arabic empire from around the globe, gradually developed a distinctive and extensive list od Elements under thes five powers as active principles.
Of course many of the early lists of Elemental things include powers we do not judge to be "elements", but this is an aesthetical apprehension of the term element, which has always described a fundamental entity in any topic. When you factor in man, and the burgeoning pedagogical subject discipline wars taking place in institutes of learning, driven by status which reflected beneficence or patronage, one can readily see how these knowledges were reworked to the advantage of those who came up with a unique selling point to a benefactor. Gradually man as a power was pushed to one side as the topics of biology and zoology. Those elements that tended to explode Alchemy kept for itself, the powers of earth , air and liquid , as bodily entities were taken by those who wanted to philosophise on Phusis, a divine order of opposites, which we call Physics today with its fundamental principle of ±!
The remaining elements that were explosive were studied and found to contain phlogistegen and levity and other elemental powers. Gold and silver, as financial powers were governed by the king as were rocks of precious minerals and crystals.Who was more covetous of these the religious clerics or the Political Monarchs it is hard to tell, but both acquired substantial amounts of these precious elements and ruled any alchemy that debased their value as Infernal. Occult devil and demon worship, punishable by death and casting into a fiery purgatory! Sick, propaganda or what?
Such was the Atmosphere under which Philosophical nd Empirical enquiry into the phusis or Nature of things in general was conducted. Boyle and Newton had to tread very carefully to engage in their empirical and experimental explorations. Thus it should come as no surprise that certain topics are avoided by Newton, either on grounds of pprobity, predilection or general sagacity, as well as shortage of time and failure of faculties through earlier damage to senses by radical experiments unaware of the health and safety aspects of the work being done.
Newton organised his philosophical principles empirically so that proper philosophy a la Newton could be engaged in. In so doing he characterised the factors of motion in terms of collisions of solid , or elastic bodies. Fluids he characterised as resistive and the powers of heat and light in his Optiks he characterises as vibrations od these solid or elastic corpuscles. Thus he was at a loss to explain fluid behaviour because he did not understand the active principle of stickinees. What kept these little corpuscles he saw in microscopes of his day, sticking together for so long and then breaking off or away. How did it differ from Elasticity? How did fluids work and transmit motive and absorb motive?
The philosophical concept of Motive is entirely acceptable and productive in Newtonian thinking. It provides a metaphysical source removed from the direct Agency of God, but free from the label of Daemon. or demiouurge, both characterised as lesser gods and villified by the clerics as occult entities. By lumping them together and renaming them as Motive Newton provided himself with a limitless source of power, pressure, energy acceleration etc. As this was a study of Phusis he required Motive to also have the properties of a sink. Thus motive, by reason of being metaphysical provided the ground on which to build his Principia. Motive provided him with the powers he needed to assume for any action, interaction or interaction, and which he astutely and cleverly disguised by defining the motive empirically as observable data.
Thus force, motion and celerity while being the generative concepts were immediately used as labels for the empirical data, and the metron or measures of that data. This clever move is based on an astute notion of the ancients called proportion.
The proportion principle is readily adduced or induced from interacting with sensory and importantly visual sensory information. But having adduced it it is then possible to use it analogically. By restricting his analogy to metrons he can discuise and confuse at the same time the source of the powers he describes by proportions.
Thus motive eing metaphysical is in every way analogous and proportional to acceleration. But acceleration is a measure. That is it is defined on a metron. But it is not defined on a direct metron, and this is how complexity enables and confuses and hides all at the same time.
Metrons are our only doorway into proportion. Without a metron we swim in a variable sea of undefined waves and winds thaqt cause us to founder. Metrons are nothing special. They represent us as an engaged entity, engaged in the surrounding environment making a distinct and fixed choice of any fixed form and determining to use it at measure other forms extensively. That is why it is called a metron.
However, Newton by choosing his Metrons cleverly is able to use proportion to describe the variation in chosen metrons. that is he is able to take a fixed metron and then apprehend its variation in use or interaction. By doing this he recovers the dynamic nature of our experience at a level above the direct metron. The metrons become a means of describing the dynamical and mechanical world in terms of observables. Thus the metaphysical and unobservable suppositions if you like are clothed by proportions in observable metrons.
Proportion, the comparison of entities by use of a common metron, and the dualling of comparisons in sequential chains that allow the skilled observer to compare seemingly unrelated and unexpected things it at the heart of Pythagorean Philosophy. To this extent Newton was a classical and ancient Pythagorean in the long line of Pythagorean scholars started by Plato. Newtons genius was that he was ale to combine all the Platonic scholars in different schools and to extend back to the presocratic philosophers and deal with their issues subtly. It is therefore not hyperbole that causes his Preface writer to the The Motion of Bodies to extol him.
Nevertheless Newton is modest or wise enough to take such adulation with a pinch of salt. In any case his own Autistic nature would not allow him to concur, because he was well aware of how, when and where he was directed in his studies to attain to a level of mastery surpassing his teachers, but entirely due to their direction and encouragement and discipline.
Proportion does not enable us to say anything about the nature of metrons directly. Instead it enables us to develop extensive relative and relational concepts between metrons and the entities chosen as metrons. Thus to understand the nature of metrons one has to turn to alchemy.
Newton had little choice, by his methods to apprehend the nature of fluids. Of all the elemental powers fluids(air and liquid) were the least understood by the ancients. They were mediums in which generally everything of interest to them happened. Thus the new notions of fluids adhering to corpuscles and providing strange powers of electricity and magnetism were too occult for even Newton. It was safer and easier to bypass these new, but not modern, explorations and go straight to his conceptual"source" motive. Thus he avoids a major difficulty, like Alexander cutting the Gordian knot and cuts to the chase. Whatever these fluids were alchemically we would have to define metrons to understand them in relative proportions and that means it is the proportional rules that ultimately are important in utilising these elements mechanically.
This mechanical view does not sit well with naturalists, and especially now as it has become Electromechanical. This is because it is portrayed as a model that ultimately reduces everything to mechanical "toys" or machines that humans can aspire to make. Where then is the power of God or even the goddess Natura?
It is suficient to say that any one who believes the hyperbole of the Mechanist is as psychotic as hey are! The mechanical model is precisely useful because it is a proportional model. Applying proportionality will soon convince that in the natural scale of things humanity is not even a speck on the horizon of any universal hyperbolic geometry. Infinity, though a nonsensical number concept is a valid procedural and combinatorial concept that means we our consciousness is entirely from another place, or we must concede, wich i do not that the greater is apprehensible by the least!
Therefore, though Newton admittedly floundered in deep water in his attempts at fluid mechanics, he nevertheless did so for the right reasons. The unexpected complexity of fluids is overwhelming. Therefore it is surprising that Newtons principles mostly apply. What is necessary was in Newtons terms some principle of Adhesiveness, or cohesion in the interactive model. Something that takes the model beyond elasticity into fluidity.
My contention is that the application of motive to this fluid interface naturally brings magnetism and Electricity into Newtonian fluid mechanics, and provides the basis for this cohesiveness or stickiness that he sought.
Given such a model, newton i believe would have been able to frame a notion ,a proportional system of Gravity beyond his mysterious and confounding annoyance of action at a distance.
Unfortunately, Newtons heirs were not a sagacious as he and so they confused gravity as an entity rather than as a label for some yet undefined model, and separated out electricity and magnetism from general fluids. This division has lead to the strange situation we are in todya that we do not seem able to unify the forces of Natura which are clearly related.
It is not that we cannot unify them, it is rather that we historically through subjec wars did not want to unify them. Now, because of entrenched thinking we reject any unification that contradicts an already contradictory set of principles!
Ah, but it was ever thus!
As a further development, i recently turned the Rutherford and Bohr Idea of atomic space upside down. Rather than use little corpuscles of some undefined solidity with 99.99999% of space between the nucleus and the electron shell. i say t the space within a region we may call atomic is full of highly compressible material . As the material spirals inwards or outward the motive within that same region becomes stronger or weaker, but always acting in every direction and towards regions of lower motive.
This is of course making motive analogous to density of matter, and action and magnitude of force. That being the case it seems unecessary to complicate the system by converting motive intoa clothing of matter , and inventing density to explain some of the differences in kinaesthetics of matter. It is much simpler to use motive as acting in our experience, defining by its action varying regions which we call volumes of a specific distributed density, or a specific distributed pressure , interacting with other motives distinguished by regionality and behaviour and alerting its energy or power by pressure acting through a boundary region of spheroidally directed motive.
the interaction of motive is not so much an interaction of a corpuscle on a corpuscle as it is an interaction etween regions of one law of motive upon another. these laws interacting at the interface to create a boundary of interaction.
Motive, pressure or energy behaving in these fluid ways is sufficient to explain the atomic behaviours in terms of these interfaces of interaction behaving as boundaries. Thus since these boundaries only exist in dynamic interaction, they therefore change with the dynamism of that interaction. the results of reflection, diffraction elastic collision being the dynamic establishment of an equilibrium in these boundary interfaces between dynamic regions of law abiding motives! the law of therefore replaces the law of space, That is motive is 99.999% compressible before the interface formed deflects the regions in other directions and orientations! in the meantime this compressibility or expandability drives the internal dynamics of regions, increasing or decreasing the store of motive within that region, that is increasing or decreasing the store of energy within a region.
The action of chemical reactions is just this process occurring more or less automatically through the conditions of the elements so called, in relation to their internal dynamics and compressibility.
The dissolution of a crystal into water is a case in point, as are the diffusion principles.