How to navigate the online edition of the Paris Manuscripts

A part of our Center is the project The Genesis of Émilie Du Châtelet’s Institutions de Physique: From the Paris Manuscript (1738–40) to the Printed Editions (1740, 1742).

It is widely agreed that in the Institutions de Physique, Du Châtelet innovatively combines metaphysics and physics, creating a work that is not merely a textbook on natural philosophy, but makes important contributions to the philosophy of science. Moreover, the considerable influence of this work on later Enlightenment thinkers, both in France and abroad, is well documented. Nevertheless, no historical-critical edition of this work as yet exists. The DFG-funded online historical-critical edition of the Paris manuscripts of the Institutions de Physique will fill this gap, making early and alternative versions of this important text freely available to the public.

Currently we have twelve chapters of the Paris Manuscripts online. Here is how to navigate through the chapters and versions:

  1. Open the official website of the project Émilie du Châtelet: The Paris Manuscript.
  2. Below the introductory text you can read about the project’s methodology and structure.
  3. You will also see the phrase: “The online edition can be read here.
  4. If you click it you will be led to the Editorial Introduction to the manuscript edition.
  5. Click the term “Documents” to see the chapters.
  6. On this page you can choose a chapter like “Chapter five
  7. Congrats! Now you can start reading through the versions of the chapter, each of which represents a major revision stage, by clicking them.
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