Absolute time before Newton

Dissertation, The University of Melbourne (2009)
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Abstract
This thesis provides a new analysis of early contributions to the development of the theory of absolute timeā€”the notion that time exists independently of the presence or actions of material bodies and has no material cause. Though popularly attributed to Newton, I argue that this conception of time first appeared in medieval philosophy, as a solution to a peculiar theological problem generated by a widespread misrepresentation of Aristotle. I trace the subsequent evolution of the theory of absolute time through to the seventeenth-century, and argue that Newton, if anything, retreats from a full endorsement of the doctrine.
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Archival date: 2014-01-22
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2014-01-23

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