Newton and Spinoza

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It is unclear whether Newton read any of Spinoza’s works. However, two people with whom he was in close contact made substantial efforts to repudiate Spinozism directly: Henry More in The Confutation of Spinoza (More 1991) and Samuel Clarke in A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God: More Particularly in Answer to Mr. Hobbs, Spinoza and Their Followers (Clarke 1998). Although Newton did not always explicitly name Spinoza, it is evident that he had Spinoza or Spinozism in mind (in addition to Epicureanism) when articulating certain objections to this kind of metaphysical view (Schliesser 2012b; Peterman 2018) and formulating his own positive view in contrast. An underlying current in Newton’s arguments against Spinozism was his desire to respond to the threat of atheism.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences
EditorsDana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-20791-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31067-1
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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