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Thomas Reid's Newtonian Theism: his differences with the classical arguments of Richard Bentley and William Whiston
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2010 (English)In: Studies in history and philosophy of science, ISSN 0039-3681, E-ISSN 1879-2510, Vol. 41, no 2, 109-119 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reid was a Newtonian and a Theist, but did he found his Theism on Newton’s physics? In opposition to commonplace assumptions about the role of Theism in Reid’s philosophy, my answer is no. Reid prefers to found his Theism on a priori reasons, rather than on physics. Reid’s understanding of physics as an empirical science stops it from contributing in any clear and efficient way to issues of natural theology. In addition, Reid is highly sceptical of our ability to discover the efficient and final causes of natural phenomena, knowledge of which is essential for natural theology. To bring out Reid’s differences with classical Newtonian Theists Richard Bentley and William Whiston, I examine their use of the law and force of general gravitation, and reconstruct what would be Reidian objections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 41, no 2, 109-119 p.
Keyword [en]
Thomas Reid; William Whiston; Richard Bentley; Physics; Theism; Isaac Newton
National Category
History Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39500DOI: doi:10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.03.009ISI: 000279187900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-39500DiVA: diva2:320544
Available from: 2010-05-25 Created: 2010-05-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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