Aaron Wells on Newton and Du Châtelet, ESEMP Copenhagen

What did Du Châtelet really think of Newton's four rules of reasoning in natural philosophy?

Du Châtelet’s relation to Newton and his rules has puzzled scholars for at least sixty years. However, there has been almost no recent work on the key manuscript passages where Du Châtelet directly discusses these rules. This talk by Aaron Wells points out six neglected features of Du Châtelet’s manuscript presentation of Newton’s rules–in light of work at the Center on her Paris Manuscript. Here, already, she departs from some Newton in important ways. Nevertheless, pace some recent scholars, certain fundamental ideas in Newton’s rules survive into the published Institutions de Physique. This shows how she creatively drew on both Newtonian and Continental rationalist ideas.

The talk will take place on Friday the 16th of September, at the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy conference in Copenhagen.

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