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Clarke, Collins and compounds

Attfield, Robin 1977. Clarke, Collins and compounds. Journal of the History of Philosophy 15 (1) , pp. 45-54. 10.1353/hph.2008.0087

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Can room be found in between the matter and void of a Newtonian universe for an immaterial and immortal soul? Can followers of Locke with his agnosticism about the nature of substances claim to know that some of them are immaterial? Samuel Clarke, well versed in Locke's thought and a defender both of Newtonian science and Christian orthodoxy, believed he could do both and attempted to prove his case by means of some hard-boiled reductionism. Anthony Collins, a deist whose only lapse from materialism concerned God himself, rejected Clarke's argument. In this paper I discuss their controversy' in order to bring out the state of debate about material systems and consciousness among people influenced by Locke and Newton in the early eighteenth century, and I also assess Clarke's reductionist premise, as he himself frequently invites "the impartial reader" to do.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISSN: 0022-5053
Funders: University College Cardiff
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:34

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