Chapter

Metaphysics before Physics: The Cambridge Critique of Newtonian Religious Apologetic

CATHERINE OSBORNE

in Religion and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century England

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198269427
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683640 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269427.003.0004
Metaphysics before Physics: The Cambridge Critique of Newtonian Religious Apologetic

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This chapter examines criticism on Newtonian religious apologetic during the English Enlightenment period and discusses the conflict between physics and metaphysics. Philosopher P.M. Harman argued that Isaac Newton's physical theory was based on metaphysical foundations which ultimately depended on the sustaining action of God. This chapter discusses the positive connection between Newtonianism and Lockeanism and argues against the predominance of a particular branch of the contextualist school of intellectual history.

Keywords: religious apologetic; English Enlightenment; physics; metaphysics; P.M. Harman; Newtonianism; Lockeanism

Chapter.  13290 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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