Philosophical Mechanics in the Age of Reason

New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This book argues that the Enlightenment was a golden age for the philosophy of body, and for efforts to integrate coherently a philosophical concept of body with a mathematized theory of mechanics. Thereby, it articulates a new framing for the history of 18th-century philosophy and science. It explains why, more than a century after Newton, physics broke away from philosophy to become an autonomous domain. And, it casts fresh light on the structure and foundations of classical mechanics. Among the figures studied are Malebranche, Leibniz, Du Châtelet, Boscovich, and Kant, alongside d’Alembert, Euler, Lagrange, Laplace and Cauchy.

Author Profiles

Marius Stan
Boston College
Katherine Brading
Duke University

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