Space and Time

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191724855
ISBN (Print)9780199556137
StatePublished - May 2 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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