Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749)

R.E. Hagengruber, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences, Cham, 2021.

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Abstract
Of the many outstanding female philosophers of the European Enlightenment, Emilie Du Châtelet excelled as a physicist, a philosopher, and a mathematician, as well as a Bible critic. She was famous in her lifetime and was not completely forgotten thereafter. Among her admirers, correspondents and friends were the most acknowledged scholars of her time, including Voltaire, Clairault, Maupertuis, Diderot, Helvetius, La Mettrie, Buffon, Christian Wolff, Leonard Euler, and Johann II Bernoulli. Her philosophical work enjoyed high reputation and her opus magnum, the Institutions physiques, was translated into Italian and German and proved her to be an intellectual of European stature. Its defense of living forces and its implied forecast into dynamics as well as her methodological grounding of scientific knowledge as hypothetical, impacted philosophy and science. Reality must by nature escape us. What we perceive are phenomena. Du Châtelet explains the function of space and time to trace us back to the origin of phenomena. Her influence on Kant is evident. Next to her writings in physics, mathematics, philosophy, language, and logic, she contributed to morality and ethics. Du Châtelet left an opus of quite systematic breadth. This impressive publishing activity excels in the amount of its scientific and philosophical production to which a vast collection of manuscripts must be added. She argued against prejudice and idolatry in philosophy and science. Science is a cooperative undertaking over history and beyond nations. Her moral writings align with ideas of the French materialists. Du Châtelet translated and commented on Newton’s Principia, preparing thus the fertile soil of the generation of physicists to come in France.
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Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences
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Hagengruber RE. Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749). In: Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Cham; 2021. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_410-1
Hagengruber, R. E. (2021). Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749). In Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_410-1
@inbook{Hagengruber_2021, place={Cham}, title={Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749)}, DOI={10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_410-1}, booktitle={Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences}, author={Hagengruber, Ruth Edith}, year={2021} }
Hagengruber, Ruth Edith. “Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749).” In Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. Cham, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_410-1.
R. E. Hagengruber, “Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749),” in Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences, Cham, 2021.
Hagengruber, Ruth Edith. “Du Châtelet, Émilie (1706–1749).” Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences, 2021, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_410-1.
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