History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (2):155-74 (2017)

Patrick J. Connolly
Lehigh University
This paper explores the metaphysical system developed in Richard Bentley’s 1692 Boyle Lectures. The lectures are notable for their attempt to argue that developments in natural philosophy, including Newton’s Principia, could bolster natural theology. The paper explores Bentley’s matter theory focusing on his commitment to a particular form of mechanism and his rejection of occult qualities. It then examines his views on the nature of divine omnipotence. Finally, it turns to his understanding of gravitational attraction. While some recent commentators have argued for a “superaddition” interpretation of gravitation in Bentley, this paper argues for an “occasionalist” interpretation. The argument proceeds on the basis of both textual considerations and considerations stemming from the systematic interpretation of Bentley’s metaphysics developed earlier in the paper.
Keywords Newton  Gravitation  Matter  Mechanism  Omnipotence  Laws of Nature
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Causation and Gravitation in George Cheyne's Newtonian Natural Philosophy.Patrick J. Connolly - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:145-154.

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