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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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Newton’s De Gravitatione on God and his Emanative Effects

Newton’s De Gravitatione on God and his Emanative Effects

(p.104) 6 Newton’s De Gravitatione on God and his Emanative Effects
Absolute Time

Emily Thomas

Oxford University Press

Isaac Newton’s space and time absolutism is infamous, and would prove hugely influential. This chapter explores Newton’s early manuscript De Gravitatione, and asks two questions of it. First, what are time and space? In answer, it builds on John Carriero’s 1990 ‘Causation’ reading, arguing that Newton was drawing on Henry More’s account of emanative causation. It goes on to read Newton as holding that time and space are real but not really distinct from God, and they should be understood as incorporeal dimensions. Second, how is God present in time and space? It answers that Newton’s God is holenmeric, not extended.

Keywords:   Newton, De Gravitatione, absolute time, absolute space, Henry More, emanative causation, holenmerism

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