Space-time & gravitation

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Fri Mar 20 17:34:48 UTC 1998

The theory of gravitation was, of course, an innovation arising out of
Newton's laws of motion.  Ancient and medieval Indian writers on astral
topics tended to use explanatory theories of motion based on winds causing
the movement of heavenly bodies, as well as more anthropomorphic ideas.
The best starting point for someone with some mathematical ability is
David Pingree's magisterial essay on Indian Mathematical Astronomy in the
supplement volume to Gillispie's _Dictionary of Scientific Biography_.

There are some very intriguing early ideas about motion etc. in the
Vaisesikasutras and their commentators.  Barend Fadeggon's study of this
system of thought is now old, but still very perceptive.

Dominik Wujastyk
Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, England.
FAX +44-171-611-8545
email: d.wujastyk at

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