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p. 694. Second creationlocked

  • J. L. Heilbron


The throwing of all philosophy into doubt inspired three important schemes for placing physica on firm foundations or limiting its claims to secure natural knowledge. ‘Second creation’ explains that by the middle of the 18th century, Newton’s scheme had won out over those of Descartes and Leibniz, although only by reducing their rigorous logic to the easy-going ‘reason’ of the Enlightenment, and replacing their specifications of God’s place in His creation by assimilating Him in to Nature. Enlightened Newtonianism prepared the way for the invention of physics and its first standard model by overcoming the dichotomies between mixed mathematics and physica, and between celestial and terrestrial mechanics.

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