Authors
Huaping Lu-Adler
Georgetown University
Abstract
This paper examines Du Châtelet’s and Kant’s responses to the famous vis viva controversy – Du Châtelet in her Institutions Physiques (1742) and Kant in his debut, the Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces (1746–49). The Institutions was not only a highly influential contribution to the vis viva controversy, but also a pioneering attempt to integrate Leibnizian metaphysics and Newtonian physics. The young Kant’s evident knowledge of this work has led some to speculate about his indebtedness to her philosophy. My study corrects such speculations as well as misunderstandings of the Living Forces. This corrective result has implications for how to investigate Kant’s relation to the ever-evolving landscape of Leibniz exegeses.
Keywords Emilie du Châtelet, Kant, vis viva controversy, Leibniz, Newton, Voltaire
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The Philosophical Writings of Descartes.Rene Descartes - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant and the Exact Sciences.Michael FRIEDMAN - 1992 - Harvard University Press.
Newton as Philosopher.Andrew Janiak - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
Kant: A Biography.Michelle Grier - 2004 - Mind 113 (450):365-368.

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