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Being and Motion$
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Thomas Nail

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908904.001.0001

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Medieval Theology II

Medieval Theology II


(p.343) Chapter 25 Medieval Theology II
Being and Motion

Thomas Nail

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the second kinetic operation or feature in the ontological description of force is the externalization of motion. Kinetically, the externalization of motion occurs when a flow becomes disjoined or released from a field of circulation. Once such a flow breaks free or bifurcates from the conjunction of a circulatory system, it is then capable of folding itself into a new series of junctions in a new field or connecting to another field elsewhere. When the internal motion of circulation, like that of a rotating sphere, for instance, appears to transfer its motion to another body as a cause, agent, or force, what occurs kinetically is not the transfer of a metaphysical substance, but the continuation of the same movement, circulated differently. This chapter treats this issue historically within the early modern concept of medieval impetus and the clockwork universe.

Keywords:   impetus, force, Isaac Newton, John Philoponus, clockwork universe, automaton

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