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1771 Eleventh Edition
Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) was the most influential British metaphysician and theologian in the generation between Locke and Berkeley, and only Shaftesbury rivals him in ethics. In all three areas he was very critical of Hobbes, Spinoza, and Toland. Deeply influenced by Newton, Clarke was critical of Descartes’ metaphysics of space and body because of the experimental evidence for Newtonianian doctrines of space, the vacuum, atoms, and attraction and because he believed Descartes’ identifying body with extension and removing final causes from nature had furthered irreligion and had naturally developed into Spinozism.
Clarke sided with Locke and Newton against Descartes in denying that we have knowledge of the essence of substances, even though we can be sure that there are at least two kinds of substances (mental and material) because their properties (thinking and divisibility) are incompatible. He defended natural religion against the naturalist view that nature constitutes a self-sufficient system and defended revealed religion against deism. Clarke adopted Newton’s natural philosophy early on. Through his association with Newton, Clarke was the de facto spokesperson for Newtonianism in the first half the eighteenth century, not only explaining the natural science but also providing a metaphysical support and theological interpretation for it.
Item # ES1771
Appraisal Value: $1,000
Sale Price: $300