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Leibniz et Newton dans Wolff.

Abstract : Regarding the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century, it is common to distinguish very roughly two ways of considering whether or not science is linked to philosophy. The first, inherited from Descartes and Leibniz, though viewed from very different perspectives, acknowledges the need to link science and metaphysics. The second, rooted in a certain interpretation of Newton's thinking reduced to a rough, even sketchy form and resting on the 1687 Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis, considers that modern science, understood as rational mechanics, should do away with the metaphysical support traditionally afforded to science, while at the same time determining to approach physics solely through physical phenomena and to mathematize motion, these two requirements being considered the two criteria of modern science. Thus, the analytical scientists of the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century distinguish between archaic metaphysicians and modern Newtonians. However, we formulate the hypothesis that this period saw another way of conceiving the relationship between science and metaphysics that articulates certain physical principles of Newton's and some elements of Leibniz's thinking. These attempts at articulation may seem paradoxical in more ways than one: both at the conceptual level and at the methodological level. Although Wolff is without doubt one of the first to attempt this articulation (and we show here both how the connection is made and what demands specific to a certain definition of science it is intended to satisfy), his approach is not unique for this period; indeed, many scholars apply it (s'Gravesande, Emilie du Chatelet, Boscovich).
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Contributor : Florence Thill <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 5:13:41 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - 9:54:02 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00651527, version 1



Anne-Lise Rey. Leibniz et Newton dans Wolff.. Lumières, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2008, 12 (N° "La pensée encyclopédique de Ch. Wolff. Autour du Discursus praeliminaris"), pp. 125-137. ⟨halshs-00651527⟩



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