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Absolute TimeRifts in Early Modern British Metaphysics$
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Emily Thomas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198807933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198807933.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 April 2021

A Continental Interlude

A Continental Interlude

Time in van Helmont, Gassendi, and Charleton

(p.58) 3 A Continental Interlude
Absolute Time

Emily Thomas

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the absolutisms of two Continental Europeans: Jan Baptist van Helmont and Pierre Gassendi. These figures are important to us in part because it has been argued that later British writers pick up on their ideas. On Van Helmont’s absolutism, time emanates from God. On Gassendi’s absolutism, space and time are incorporeal, dimensional beings that can be occupied by bodies; it is unclear how they relate to God. The final part of this chapter explores the absolutism of English philosopher Walter Charleton, which draws on Gassendi’s absolutism. Although there are deep similarities between the views of Gassendi and Charleton on space and time, this chapter argues there are differences too.

Keywords:   Absolute time, Jan Baptist van Helmont, Pierre Gassendi, Walter Charleton, Henry More

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