Mar 31, 2015
With the decline of Scholasticism, virtually all of the would-be reformers of philosophy resorted to some kind of unexplained activity in matter. Occult qualities, or mysterious hidden forces or powers in matter or in bodies which were responsible for the actions of bodies and their interactions with others, were invoked by nearly all the new philsophers in their theories of matter or bodies. Why was the turn to the Occult so ubiquitous? In this paper, John Henry explores these and other fundamental questions of early modern natural philosophy.