Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

pp 1250-1250

Mechanico-materialism

  • Carl RaschkeAffiliated withDepartment of Religious Studies, University of Denver Email author 

A general term used in the history of ideas to describe the view of the universe, including even life forms and social behavior that emerged from Newtonian physics in the late seventeenth century. Mechanico-materialism stresses the law-like regularity and “clockwork” precision in the operation of the identifiable components of physical reality. The metaphor of billiard balls zooming about a pool table is often used to capture the sense of what Newtonians characterized as a cosmos consisting of “matter in motions.”

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