We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Emily Thomas

Thomas, Emily (2015). Henry More and the development of absolute time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54: 11-19.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper explores the nature, development and influence of the first English account of absolute time, put forward in the mid-seventeenth century by the ‘Cambridge Platonist’ Henry More. Against claims in the literature that More does not have an account of time, this paper sets out More's evolving account and shows that it reveals the lasting influence of Plotinus. Further, this paper argues that More developed his views on time in response to his adoption of Descartes' vortex cosmology and cosmogony, providing new evidence of More's wider project to absorb Cartesian natural philosophy into his Platonic metaphysics. Finally, this paper argues that More should be added to the list of sources that later English thinkers – including Newton and Samuel Clarke – drew on in constructing their absolute accounts of time.