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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

10 - The idea of God

from III - God
Summary
The seventeenth century marks a significant moment in thought concerning the definition of God. Seventeenth-century debates over the idea of God were played out within the space of certain questions which are, strictly speaking, theological. In the Disputationes metaphysicae, Francis Suárez filled the analogical gap between the finite and the infinite by a univocal concept of being (conceptus univocus entis), sufficient to represent to the human mind any being whatsoever in a confused and indeterminate way. Seventeenth-century scientists persistently privileged one argument: humans can interpret the physical world in mathematical language because God first conceived the world that was to be created in accordance with mathematical rationality. However, not all seventeenth-century thinkers shared this tendency towards univocity with respect to the question of God. Counterbalancing the trend towards univocity is an exactly contrary orientation, strange but powerful, the insistence upon the radically unknowable transcendence of the divine essence.
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The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055451
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521307635
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