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Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume VI$
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Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.001.0001

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Newton’s Ontology of Omnipresence and Infinite Space

Newton’s Ontology of Omnipresence and Infinite Space

Chapter:
(p.279) 9 Newton’s Ontology of Omnipresence and Infinite Space
Source:
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume VI
Author(s):

J. E. Mcguire

Edward Slowik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.003.0009

This chapter explores the role of God’s omnipresence in Newton’s natural philosophy, with special emphasis placed on how God is related to space. Unlike Descartes’ conception, which denies the spatiality of God, or Gassendi and Charleton’s view, which regards God as completely whole in every part of space, it is argued that Newton accepts spatial extension as a basic aspect of God’s omnipresence. The historical background to Newton’s spatial ontology assumes a large part of our investigation, but with attention also focused on the details of Newton’s unique approach to these traditional Scholastic conceptions.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, space, omnipresence, holenmerism, nullibism

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