•  34
    Mind-body dualism and the Harvey-Descartes controversy
    Journal of the History of Ideas 55 (2): 211-234. 1994.
    Descartes and William Harvey engaged in a polite dispute about the cause of the heart's motion. Descartes saw the heart's motion of passive; Harvey saw it as active. I criticize three prominent explanations for Descartes' opposition to Harvey's theory. I argue that Descartes found Harvey's model to be inconsistent with mind-body dualism and this was the reason he opposed it
  •  172
    The articles that comprise this special issue of Intellectual History Review are briefly described.
  •  70
    Descartes on Time and Duration
    Early Science and Medicine 12 (1): 28-54. 2007.
    Descartes' account of the material world relies heavily on time. Most importantly, time is a component of speed, which figures in his fundamental conservation principle and laws. However, in his most systematic discussion of the concept, time is treated as some-how reducible both to thought and to motion. Such reductionistic views, while common among Descartes' late scholastic contemporaries, are very ill-suited to Cartesian physics. I show that, in spite of the apparent identifications with tho…Read more
  •  20
    'The Twin-Brother of Space': Spatial Analogy in the Emergence of Absolute Time
    Intellectual History Review 22 (1): 23-39. 2012.
    Seventeenth-century authors frequently infer the attributes of time by analogy from already established features of space. The rationale for this can be traced back to Aristotle's analysis of time as ?the number of movement?, where movement requires a prior understanding of spatial magnitude. Although these authors are anti-Aristotelian, they were concerned, contra Aristotle, to establish the existence of ?empty space?, and a notion of absolute space which fit this idea. Although they had no ind…Read more
  •  5
    Descartes’s Dilemma of Eminent Containment
    Dialogue 42 (1): 3-26. 2003.
    In his recent survey of the “dialectic of creation” in seventeenth-century philosophy, Thomas Lennon has suggested that Descartes’s assumptions about causality encourage a kind of “pantheistic emanationism”. Lennon notes that Descartes regularly invokes the principle that there is nothing in the effect which was not previously present, either formally or eminently, in the cause. Descartes also believes that God is the continuous, total, and efficient cause of everything. From these assumptions i…Read more
  •  23
    God, Time and Eternity
    Faith and Philosophy 19 (4): 520-523. 2002.
  •  49
    Descartes on God's relation to time
    Religious Studies 44 (4): 413-431. 2008.
    God and time play crucial, intricately related roles in Descartes' project of grounding mathematical physics on metaphysical first principles. This naturally raises the perennial theological question of God's precise relation to time. I argue, against the strong current of recent commentary, that Descartes' God is fully temporal. This means that God's duration is successive, with parts ordered 'before and after', rather than permanent or 'all at once'. My argument will underscore the seamless co…Read more
  •  114
    Cartesian causation: Continuous, instantaneous, overdetermined
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4): 389-423. 2004.
    : Descartes provides an original and puzzling argument for the traditional theological doctrine that the world is continuously created by God. His key premise is that the parts of the duration of anything are "completely independent" of one another. I argue that Descartes derives this temporal independence thesis simply from the principle that causes are necessarily simultaneous with their effects. I argue further that it follows from Descartes's version of the continuous creation doctrine that …Read more
  •  107
    If we view the aim of feminist science as truthlikeness, instead of either absolute or relative truth, then we can explain the sense in which the feminist sciences bring an objective advance in knowledge without implicating One True Theory. I argue that a certain non-linguistic theory of truthlikeness is especially well-suited to this purpose and complements the feminist epistemologies of Harding, Haraway, and Longino.
  •  98
    Newton on God's Relation to Space and Time: The Cartesian Framework
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (3): 281-320. 2011.
    Beginning with Berkeley and Leibniz, philosophers have been puzzled by the close yet ambivalent association in Newton's ontology between God and absolute space and time. The 1962 publication of Newton's highly philosophical manuscript De Gravitatione has enriched our understanding of his subtle, sometimes cryptic, remarks on the divine underpinnings of space and time in better-known published works. But it has certainly not produced a scholarly consensus about Newton's exact position. In fact, t…Read more
  •  41
    Does Scientific Realism Beg the Question?
    Informal Logic 18 (2). 1996.
    In a series of influential articles, the anti-realist Arthur Fine has repeatedly charged that a certain very popular argument for scientific realism, that only realism can explain the instrumental success of science, begs the question. I argue that on no plausible reading ofthe fallacy does the realist argument beg the question. In fact, Fine is himself guilty of what DeMorgan called the "opponent fallacy.".
  •  15
    Walter Ott. Causation & Laws in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. xii+260. $75.00 (review)
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2): 371-375. 2011.