Dynamics and Reason

Date: 09.02.2023 - 10.02.2023


This two-day workshop will focus on the work of Du Châtelet and Kant and on historical and conceptual links between them, as well as connecting figures such as Euler, Maupertuis, Formey, and Kästner.

Despite a recent surge of scholarly interest in Du Châtelet, we are far from adequately understanding many dimensions of her work and its influence. Kant’s relation to Du Châtelet raises particular challenges. He read her work and responded to it in his first publication on “Living Forces.” It remains unclear, however, to what extent he was influenced by other key features of her work, such as her theory of space and time, her distinctive version of idealism, and her account of mathematical objects as partly dependent on our faculty of imagination. There is also the possibility of indirect influence on Kant and his contemporaries, especially via participants in the 1740s ‘monad controversy’ (which Kant engaged with in early works such as the Physical Monadology, ‘Prize Essay,’ and Dreams of a Spirit-Seer).

Invited speakers:

Emily Carson (McGill University)

Silvia De Bianchi (University of Milan)

Katherine Dunlop (University of Texas, Austin)

Hartmut Hecht (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences)

Klaus Mainzer (Technical University of Munich)

Moderation: Riccardo Pozzo (Sapienza Università di Roma)

February 9/9.30 to 10.45: Speech Klaus Mainzer: From Du Châtelet to Kant: On absolute and Relative Space

Program: Dynamics and Reason Program Final

Kant EDC Plakat



Place: Paderborn University/online


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