Du Châtelet’s Libertarianism

History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (3):219-241 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


There is a growing consensus that Emilie Du Châtelet’s challenging essay “On Freedom” defends compatibilism. I offer an alternative, libertarian reading of the essay. I lay out the prima facie textual evidence for such a reading. I also explain how apparently compatibilist remarks in “On Freedom” can be read as aspects of a sophisticated type of libertarianism that rejects blind or arbitrary choice. To this end, I consider the historical context of Du Châtelet’s essay, and especially the dialectic between various strands of eighteenth-century libertarianism and compatibilism.

Similar books and articles

Du Chatelet: Idealist about extension, bodies and space.Caspar Jacobs - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 82:66-74.
Du Châtelet on Sufficient Reason and Empirical Explanation.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):629-655.
Émilie Du Châtelet on Illusions.Marcy P. Lascano - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1):1-19.
A Problem in Du Châtelet's Metaphysical Foundations of Physics.Matias Kimi Slavov - 2020 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 37 (1):61-76.
Du Châtelet on the Need for Mathematics in Physics.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1137-1148.
Du Châtelet on Freedom, Self-Motion, and Moral Necessity.Julia Jorati - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (2):255-280.
Émilie Du Châtelet on Space and Time.Andrea Reichenberger - 2021 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 2021 (2): 331-355.
Metaphilosophie und das Prinzip des Widerspruchs: Leibniz, Wolff und Du Châtelet.Andreas Blank - 2019 - In Ruth Edith Hagengruber & Hartmut Hecht (eds.), Émilie Du Châtelet und die deutsche Aufklärung. Heidelberg, Deutschland: Springer. pp. 79-98.
Emilie du Chatelet's Metaphysics of Substance.Marius Stan - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):477-496.
Du Châtelet’s Philosophy of Mathematics.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - In Fatema Amijee (ed.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Du Châtelet. Bloomsbury.
La naissance de l'histoire.Chatelet Chatelet - 1962 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 56 (2):43.


Added to PP

294 (#55,038)

6 months
123 (#15,487)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Aaron Wells
Paderborn University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1904 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by C. B. Macpherson.
Kritik der reinen Vernunft.Immanuel Kant - 2010 - Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 2006 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.

View all 33 references / Add more references