Émilie Du Châtelet’s Scientific Methodology Hypotheses and the Principles of Knowledge

International Online Conference

Émilie Du Châtelet’s Scientific Methodology: Hypotheses and the Principles of Knowledge

23rd/24th of May 2024

Organized by Clara Carus, Head of the DFG-Research Project :The Relationship between the Theory of Hypotheses and the Principles of Knowledge in Émilie Du Châtelet

at the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists

Keynote Address: Katherine Brading (Duke University)

Interest and scholarship on Du Châtelet has been growing exponentially recently. Many Du Châtelet scholars see her newfound scientific methodology at the heart of her philosophy. Du Châtelet developed an intriguing theory of hypotheses, elaborating on the scope, legitimacy, content and proper establishment of hypotheses. Furthermore, she put forward an account of knowledge on the basis of self-evident axiomatic principles of knowledge. In Du Châtelet’s scientific methodology the principles of knowledge and the theory of hypotheses stand in a compelling relation. Du Châtelet takes up important ideas from Descartes, Leibniz, Wolff, Locke and Newton (among others) and develops them further in her scientific methodology, while consciously distancing herself from other aspects of their works.

This workshop features some of the most prominent Du Châtelet scholars as well as international experts in Early Modern Methodology and is committed to exploring Du Châtelet’s scientific methodology in its content and historic significance. It will be a fun and inclusive event, which is open to students and faculty alike.

All are welcome and attendance is free. Please register at clara.carus@uni-paderborn.de with your name, email address and affiliation (if applicable).

Speakers: Katherine Brading (Keynote), Fatema Amijee, Peter Anstey, Clara Carus, Katherine Dunlop, Andrew Janiak, Ruth Hagengruber, Qiu Lin, Pedro Prikladnitzky, Andrea Reichenberger, Natalia Lorena Zorrilla Sirlin, Aaron Wells

Dates: 23rd of May 2024 1.45pm-5.30pm CET & 24th of May 2024 9.45am-5.30pm CET

Location: Online/Zoom


  • Thursday, 23rd of May
    1.45pm-2.00pm Welcome by Clara Carus

    Chair: Pedro Prikladnitzky (Universität Paderborn)

    Aaron Wells (Universität Paderborn)

    Du Châtelet’s Evidence for Simple Substances


    Chair: Pedro Prikladnitzky (Universität Paderborn)

    Natalia Lorena Zorrilla Sirlin (IHRIM-Collegium de Lyon)

    Regulative Epistemology in Émilie Du Châtelet

    3.30pm-3.45pm Coffee Break

    Chair: Clara Carus (Universität Paderborn)

    Katherine Dunlop (University of Texas at Austin)

    Hypothesis and Fiction in Du Chatelet’s View of Space


    Chair: Clara Carus (Universität Paderborn)


    Keynote Address: Katherine Brading (Duke University)

    What can we know? Du Châtelet and the limits of our knowledge

  • Friday, 24th of May

    Chair: Clara Carus (Universität Paderborn)

    Ruth Hagengruber (Universität Paderborn)

    Du Châtelet’s Copernican Turn.  The chapter on hypotheses and the reorganization of the architecture of science.


    Chair: Aaron Wells (Universität Paderborn)

    Andrea Reichenberger (Technische Universität München)

    Émilie Du Châtelet on the Meaning and Role of Hypotheses: Paving the Way for Enlightenment Philosophy


    Chair: Aaron Wells (Universität Paderborn)

    Peter Anstey (University of Sydney)

    Du Châtelet, hypotheses and the theory of principles

    12.00pm-1.00pm CET Lunch Break

    Chair: Aaron Wells (Universität Paderborn)

    Pedro Prikladnitzky (Universität Paderborn)

    Du Châtelet and Cartesianism: Similarities and Criticism concerning Hypotheses in Scientific Explanation


    Chair: Aaron Wells (Universität Paderborn)

    Clara Carus (Universität Paderborn)

    Certain and Probable Knowledge in Du Châtelet: The Relationship between the Principles of Knowledge and the Theory of Hypotheses

    2.45pm-3.15pm Coffee Break

    Chair: Emily Carson (McGill)

    Andrew Janiak (Duke University)

    Du Châtelet’s Philosophical Methodology


    Chair: Emily Carson (McGill)

    Qiu Lin (Simon Fraser University)

    Du Châtelet on Spatial Relations


    Chair: Emily Carson (McGill)

    Fatema Amijee (University of British Columbia)

    Du Châtelet on Causation between Substances

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