Space and Time

Emily Grosholz

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199556137
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Space and Time

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  • History of Western Philosophy
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This article describes the debate about space and time in the early modern period focusing on the exchange between Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton. It provides a brief account of Galileo's critique of medieval cosmology, the finite, two-sphere cosmos with fixed places as well as a beginning and an end in time, the related account of motion as finite and in need of an external agent, and the too-limited use of geometry in mechanics. The article reviews in some detail the achievements of Leibniz and Newton in order to make clear the differences in their views about space and time, construed in mathematical, metaphysical, and physical terms as they emerged in the Leibniz/Clarke correspondence.

Keywords: space and time; early modern period; Gottfried Leibniz; Isaac Newton; Galileo; medieval cosmology; mechanics; Leibniz/Clarke correspondence

Article.  9529 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

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