Was Mach, in his formulation of "Mach's principle," influenced by pre-Galilean astronomy, such as that of Aristotle in On the Heavens, where heavenly bodies influence terrestrial ones?

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    $\begingroup$ Apparently not. Lichtenegger and Mashhoon give a historical sketch and Mach's et al. line of reasoning has a distinct anti-metaphysical bent, and revolves around relationality of space and motion rather than external influences. Even Friedlaenders, who do mention the influence of other bodies through ether in passing, follow the same line of thought. Kant is featured prominently, but nothing reminiscent of Aristotle or other ancients. Their paper has been translated into English. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Feb 22, 2020 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold Mach was familiar with Aristotle: Appendix I, Science of Mechanics, e.g., p. 524: "even Galileo himself, only very gradually abandoned the Aristotelian conceptions for the acceptance of the law of inertia. Even in Galileo's mind uniform circular motion and uniform horizontal motion occupy distinct places." $\endgroup$
    – Geremia
    Mar 1, 2020 at 4:44


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