Newtonian Science, Miracles, and the Laws of Nature

Journal of the History of Ideas 56 (4):531 - 553 (1995)
Newton, along with a number of other seventeenth-century scientists, is frequently charged with having held an inconsistent view of nature and its operations, believing on the one hand in immutable laws of nature, and on the other in divine interventions into the natural order. In this paper I argue that Newton, William Whiston, and Samuel Clarke, came to understand miracles, not as violations of laws of nature, but rather as beneficent coincidences which were remarkable either because they were unusual, or were beyond current understandings of nature. In this manner the Newtonians managed to reconcile their scientific pursuits with their religious convictions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index


    Total downloads


    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.