•  294
    Hobbes and Evil
    In Chad Meister & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), Evil in Early Modern Philosophy, Routledge. 2018.
  •  279
    Descartes on the Infinity of Space vs. Time
    In Ohad Nachtomy & Reed Winegar (eds.), Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy, Brill. pp. 45-61. 2018.
    In two rarely discussed passages – from unpublished notes on the Principles of Philosophy and a 1647 letter to Chanut – Descartes argues that the question of the infinite extension of space is importantly different from the infinity of time. In both passages, he is anxious to block the application of his well-known argument for the indefinite extension of space to time, in order to avoid the theologically problematic implication that the world has no beginning. Descartes concedes that we always …Read more
  •  169
    The articles that comprise this special issue of Intellectual History Review are briefly described.
  •  113
    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
  •  74
    The employment by seventeenth-century natural philosophers of stock theological notions like creation, immensity, and eternity in the articulation and justification of emerging physical programs disrupted a delicate but longstanding balance between transcendent and immanent conceptions of God. By playing a prominent (if not always leading) role in many of the major scientific developments of the period, God became more intimately involved with natural processes than at any time since antiquity. …Read more
  •  71
    Descartes on the Innateness of All Ideas
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3). 2002.
    Though Descartes is traditionally associated with the moderately nativist doctrine that our ideas of God, of eternal truths, and of true and immutable natures are innate, on two occasions he explicitly argued that all of our ideas, even sensory ideas, are innate in the mind. One reason it is surprising to find Descartes endorsing universal innateness is that such a view seems to leave no role for bodies in the production of our ideas of them.
  •  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
  •  60
    Mixing Bodily Fluids: Hobbes’s Stoic God
    Sophia 53 (1): 33-49. 2014.
    The pantheon of seventeenth-century European philosophy includes some remarkably heterodox deities, perhaps most famously Spinoza’s deus-sive-natura. As in ethics and natural philosophy, early modern philosophical theology drew inspiration from classical sources outside the mainstream of Christianized Aristotelianism, such as the highly immanentist, naturalistic theology of Greek and Roman Stoicism. While the Stoic background to Spinoza’s pantheist God has been more thoroughly explored, I mainta…Read more
  •  57
    The Theological Foundation of Hobbesian Physics: A Defence of Corporeal God
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2). 2013.
    (2013). The Theological Foundation of Hobbesian Physics: A Defence of Corporeal God. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 240-261. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.692663
  •  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
  •  48
    The metaphysical roots of cartesian physics: The law of rectilinear motion
    Perspectives on Science 13 (4): 431-451. 2005.
    : This paper presents a detailed account of Descartes' derivation of his second law of nature—the law of rectilinear motion—from a priori metaphysical principles. Unlike the other laws the proof of the second depends essentially on a metaphysical assumption about the temporal immediacy of God's operation. Recent commentators (e.g., Des Chene and Garber) have not adequately explained the precise role of this assumption in the proof and Descartes' reasoning has continued to seem somewhat arbitrary…Read more
  •  47
    Spinoza on the Ideality of Time
    Idealistic Studies 43 (1-2): 27-40. 2013.
    When McTaggart puts Spinoza on his short list of philosophers who considered time unreal, he is falling in line with a reading of Spinoza’s philosophy of time advanced by contemporaneous British Idealists and by Hegel. The idealists understood that there is much at stake concerning the ontological status of Spinozistic time. If time is essential to motion then temporal idealism entails that nearly everything—apart from God conceived sub specie aeternitatis—is imaginary. I argue that although tim…Read more
  •  46
    Descartes’s Dilemma of Eminent Containment
    Dialogue 42 (1): 3-. 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
  •  42
    From form to mechanism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9455-7 Authors Geoffrey Gorham, Department of Philosophy, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN 55105, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
  •  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.".
  •  37
    Similarity as an Intertheory Relation
    Philosophy of Science 63 (5). 1996.
    In line with the semantic conception of scientific theories, I develop an account of the intertheory relation of comparative structural similarity. I argue that this relation is useful in explaining the concept of verisimilitude and I support this contention with a concrete historical example. Finally, I defend this relation against the familiar charge that the concept of similarity is insufficiently objective.
  •  36
    Planck's principle and jeans's conversion
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3): 471-497. 1991.
  •  35
    Descartes on Causation (review)
    Dialogue 48 (4): 889-892. 2009.
  •  33
    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
  •  24
    Locke on Space, Time and God
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7. 2020.
    Locke is famed for his caution in speculative matters: “Men, extending their enquiries beyond their capacities and letting their thoughts wander into those depths where they can find no sure footing; ‘tis no wonder that they raise questions and multiply disputes”. And he is skeptical about the pretensions of natural philosophy, which he says is “not capable of being made a science”. And yet Locke is confident that “Our reason leads us to the knowledge of this certain and evident truth, that ther…Read more
  •  23
    God, Time and Eternity
    Faith and Philosophy 19 (4): 520-523. 2002.
  •  21
  •  20
    John Locke & Natural Philosophy
    Early Science and Medicine 16 (6): 626-628. 2011.
  •  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