Annals of Science 35 (5):463-508 (1978)

This study considers Newton's views on space and time with respect to some important ontologies of substance in his period. Specifically, it deals in a philosophico-historical manner with his conception of substance, attribute, existence, to actuality and necessity. I show how Newton links these “features” of things to his conception of God's existence with respect of infinite space and time. Moreover, I argue that his ontology of space and time cannot be understood without fully appreciating how it relates to the nature of Divine existence. In order to establish this, the ontology embodied in Newton's theory of predication is analysed, and shown to be different from the presuppositions of the ontological argument. From the historical point of view Gassendi's influence is stressed, via the mediation of Walter Charleton. Furthermore, Newton's thought on these matters is contrasted with Descartes's and Spinoza's. In point of fact, in his earliest notebook Newton recorded observations on Descartes's version of the ontological argument. Soon, however, he was to oppose the Cartesian conception of the actuality of Divine existence by means of arguments similar to those of Gassendi. Lastly, I suggest that the nature and extent of Henry More's influence on Newton's conception of how God relates to absolute space and time bears further examination
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DOI 10.1080/00033797800200381
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References found in this work BETA

Spinoza's Metaphysics: An Essay in Interpretation.E. M. CURLEY - 1969 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Foundations of Newton's Philosophy of Nature.Richard S. Westfall - 1962 - British Journal for the History of Science 1 (2):171-182.

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Citations of this work BETA

On Reading Newton as an Epicurean: Kant, Spinozism and the Changes to the Principia.Eric Schliesser - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):416-428.
Newton's Principia.Chris Smeenk & Eric Schliesser - 2014 - In Jed Z. Buchwald & R. Fox (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 109-165.

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