The method of analysis and synthesis and the discovery of Neptune


  • Sebastián Molina Betancur Università degli Studi di Torino



analysis, synthesis, discovery, demonstration, observation, hypothesis


The discovery of Neptune was one of the greatest achievements of nineteenth-century astronomy. Using nothing but calculus and some observations of the Uranus’ anomalous motion, Adams and Le Verrier got to determine, independently, the possible place and mass of a hypothetical planet, which would produce its observational discovery. In this paper I will demonstrate that the methods used by these astronomers were influenced by Newton’s method of analysis and synthesis. Considering this, I will also expose, that some astronomy’s general epistemological principles could be deduced when we consider these investigation methods.

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Author Biography

Sebastián Molina Betancur, Università degli Studi di Torino

G.I: Conocimiento, filosofía, ciencia, historia y sociedad
Scuola di Studi Umanistici Università degli Studi di Torino
Torino, Italia. E-mail:


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How to Cite

Molina Betancur, S. (2017). The method of analysis and synthesis and the discovery of Neptune. Estudios De Filosofía, (55), 30–53.



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