Is Descartes a Temporal Atomist?
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13(4) 2005: 627-74
49 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2015 Last revised: 13 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 1, 2005
I argue that Descartes' Second Causal Proof of God in the Third Meditation evidences, and commits him to, the belief that time is "strongly discontinuous" -- that is, that there is actually a gap between each consecutive moment of time. Much of my article attempts to reconcile this interpretation, the "received view," with Descartes' statements about time, space, and matter in his other writings, including his correspondence with various philosophers.
Keywords: Descartes, temporal atomism, Second Causal Proof, weak discontinuity, strong discontinuity, infinitely divisible
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