Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Newton and Spinoza

  • Noa SheinEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_111-1


It is unclear whether Newton read any of Spinoza’s works. However, two people with whom he was in close contact made substantial efforts to repudiate Spinozism directly: Henry More in The Confutation of Spinoza (More 1991) and Samuel Clarke in A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God: More Particularly in Answer to Mr. Hobbs, Spinoza and Their Followers (Clarke 1998). Although Newton did not always explicitly name Spinoza, it is evident that he had Spinoza or Spinozism in mind (in addition to Epicureanism) when articulating certain objections to this kind of metaphysical view (Schliesser 2012b; Peterman 2018) and formulating his own positive view in contrast. An underlying current in Newton’s arguments against Spinozism was his desire to respond to the threat of atheism. The presence of Newton’s devout upbringing and his own commitment to religion can be seen here, notwithstanding his own radical anti-trinitarian beliefs ((Snobelen 1999) and “Newton’s Theology,”...

Related Topics

Descartes Clarke More Hobbes Materialism Atheism Mechanism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

Section editors and affiliations

  • Zvi Biener
    • 1
  1. 1.PhilosophyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA