Émilie Du Châtelet in Relation to Leibniz and Wolff – Similarities and Differences

We are delighted to present our newly started DFG funded project which is dedicated to exploring all aspects of Émilie Du Châtelet’s important relationship to Leibniz and Wolff. Émilie Du Châtelet’s account of knowledge has broadly been introduced as a version of Leibnizian or Wolffian metaphysics. More recently, as scholarship on her work has become more detailed, this classification has been put into question. Most importantly, the question has been posed as to whether this classification of Du Châtelet’s epistemic contributions as ‘Leibnizian’ or ‘Wolffian’ misses the original approach and newfound ideas in Du Châtelet’s work. This project seeks to encourage further research on the theme and invites scholars to explore Du Châtelet’s contribution to the history of philosophy in relation to Leibniz and Wolff. We are asking in detail in what aspects Du Châtelet is inspired by Leibniz or Wolff respectively, and where she may differ from them?

Professor Jeffrey McDonough, Harvard University, is Mercator Fellow in the project and is joining the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists for the academic year. Dr. Clara Carus is a postdoctoral researcher in the project. Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber is head of the project.

From the 28th – 30th of September 2022 we will host an in-person workshop dedicated to the theme at the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists in Paderborn. Confirmed keynote speaker is Katherine Brading (Duke University). Mercator Fellow Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard University) will hold a welcome speech. Further confirmed invited speaker is Julia Borcherding (University of Cambridge/LMU). The full programme will soon be available on this website. If you would like to join the conference as a guest please register at contact@historyofwomenphilosophers.org by the 15th of September.

Jeffrey McDonough and Clara Carus are preparing a peer-reviewed edition on the theme as part of the project. Please view the call for papers here. Papers are due by October 31st, 2022.

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