Filosofia Unisinos 8 (2):146-169 (2007)

Roberto De Andrade Martins
Universidade de São Paulo
Towards the middle of the 18th century, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis proposed the “principle of least action” as a fundamental law of physics and as a proof of the existence of God. Samuel König and other contemporary authors criticized Maupertuis’ work. There ensued a fierce discussion concerning this subject, in which Leonhard Euler, the king Frédéric II of Prussia and Voltaire took part. This paper discusses that debate, emphasizing its extrascientific features and analyzing the interests that motivated the actions of the people involved in that episode. RESUMO: Em meados do século XVIII, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis propôs o “princípio de ação mínima”, que seria uma lei fundamental da física, além de constituir uma prova da existência de Deus. O trabalho de Maupertuis foi criticado por Samuel König e outros autores da época. Ocorreu uma violenta discussão a respeito desse assunto, da qual participaram Leonhard Euler, o rei Frédéric II da Prússia e Voltaire. Este artigo estuda o debate ocorrido, enfatizando especialmente os aspectos extracientíficos e analisando os interesses que motivaram as ações das pessoas envolvidas nesse episódio.
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References found in this work BETA

The Newtonian-Wolffian Controversy: 1740-1759.Ronald S. Calinger - 1969 - Journal of the History of Ideas 30 (3):319.
Dynamique et métaphysique leibniziennes.Martial Gueroult - 1937 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 44 (2):8-9.

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