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Friday, March 2, 2007

MECHANISTIC THINKING
From World Soul to World Machine

The triumph of the idea of the modern mechanical universe, which was finally crowned by Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica in 1687, accompanied a broader shift in cultural and individual phenomenology and ideology.

By the seventeenth century, most European intellectuals had begun to think of nature in mechanistic and technological terms, and Europeans in general began to experience the world in which they lived as a machine, a giant clockworks made up of dead matter responding deterministically to forces external to it.

This shift in cultural paradigms from medieval ideas of cosmology and physics allowed for the emergence of agnosticism and atheism in Western culture.