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Henry More's Antidote against Atheism and the Origins of the Physico-Theology Genre

Authors
  • Leech, David
Publication Date
Jun 12, 2010
Source
HAL-Descartes
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

In this paper I suggest that some of the argumentative strategies of the early architects of English physico-theology resemble some of those used by their pre-Restoration predecessors. I focus on some characteristic arguments in Henry More's influential pre-Restoration work of natural theology - the 'Antidote against Atheism' - and indicate some continuities and discontinuities between More's arguments in this text, and those found in two early architects of the physico-theology genre, John Ray and Robert Boyle. I note that while More and these early architects of physico-theology employ similar arguments against ‘atheism' and the Cartesian banishment of final causes from nature, there is a salient difference between More and Boyle – if not Ray in the 'Wisdom of God' – concerning whether God may have realised his ends in nature via panmechanism. I suggest that the difference between the two men is probably best understood in terms of different intuitions about divine creative action.

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