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

See all articles by Ken Levy

Ken Levy

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Date Written: November 1, 2005

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Levy, Ken, Is Descartes a Temporal Atomist? (November 1, 2005). British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13(4) 2005: 627-74. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2548948

Ken Levy (Contact Author)

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Paul M. Hebert Law Center ( email )

420 Law Center Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
United States

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