We’re pleased to announce that Emily Thomas (Durham) will be featured in a Meet the Author session next fall. We’ll be discussing her recently published book Absolute Time: Rifts in Early Modern Metaphysics (OUP, 2018).
Abstract: What is time? This is one of the most fundamental questions we can ask. Traditionally, the answer was that time is a product of the human mind, or of the motion of celestial bodies. In the mid-seventeenth century, a new kind of answer emerged: time or eternal duration is ‘absolute’, in the sense that it is independent of human minds and material bodies.
Emily Thomas explores the development of absolute time or eternal duration during one of Britain’s richest and most creative metaphysical periods, from the 1640s to the 1730s. She introduces an interconnected set of main characters – Henry More, Walter Charleton, Isaac Barrow, Isaac Newton, John Locke, Samuel Clarke, and John Jackson – alongside a large and varied supporting cast, whose metaphysical views are all read in their historical context and given a place in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century development of thought about time.
You can find Emily speaking about Henry More’s absolutist theory of time in this nice YouTube video, “What is Time? Henry More on Time, God and Mountains”. You can also find her blogging about the the relativistic theories of Isaac Barrow, the early John Locke, and Joseph Clark (all compared with Leibniz) on the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought’s blog, “Are Space and Time just Relations? On Early Modern British Relationalists”. She also writes about space in the Leibniz-Clarke debate in The Conversation.
She has also recently published a book entitled Early Modern Women on Metaphysics (CUP 2018). Project Vox has just published a blogpost she has written about Catharine Cockburn and absolute space and her discovery of women philosophers in the early modern era (thanks to Jacqueline Broad’s book Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century). Emily has even had a write-up on the online culture magazine, 3:AM Magazine.
We’re really looking forward to getting our hands on copies of the book and talking with Emily this fall!