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Du Chatelet's Philosophy of Science
PHIL 301
Spring 2023
Section: 01  

Èmilie Du Châtelet was a respected and lauded natural philosopher, mathematician, and physicist during her time. She published an essay on fire in 1739 alongside Voltaire, and published two editions of her work on physics and philosophy, namely the Foundations of Physics, in 1740 and 1742. After Du Châtelet's death in 1749, her former math tutor collected and submitted for publication her translation and commentary of Newton's Principia. It was successfully published and remains the leading translation of Newton's work today in France. Despite her success in the 18th century, Du Châtelet has been a neglected, and she remains an understudied figure in the history and philosophy of science since the 20th century. This course seeks to critically examine Du Châtelet's philosophy of science taking into account the authors with whom she engaged (Newton, Leibniz, and Descartes in particular) as well as the current state of scholarship concerning her work. The main text of study will be her Foundations of Physics, and the main topics of discussion will include the following: principles of knowledge, hypotheses, method, space and time, matter, motion, and gravity. Alongside the Foundations of Physics, we will also read Katherine Brading's Émilie Du Châtelet and the Foundations of Physical Science.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PHIL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL-Philosophy)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-20-2024
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