Time, Philosophy, and Seventeenth-Century Britain
Absolute Time studies roughly a century of British metaphysics, starting from the 1640s. This chapter contextualizes this period of history, both philosophically and more widely. It opens with a speedy and extremely selective Cook’s tour of the history of philosophy of time leading up to seventeenth-century philosophy, emphasizing the work of Aristotle and Plotinus. It continues by describing the metaphysics of time found in a variety of early seventeenth-century British philosophers. The final part of this chapter enters into the wider history of the period, discussing non-philosophical reasons that may have played a role in increasing early modern interest in time: horology, chronology, and apocalypse studies.
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