Upcoming: New Voices Talk Series Lost in Transition: Émilie Du Châtelet and the Encyclopédie

New Voices Talk Series │30.06 │ 5pm│ Eszter Kovacs│ Lost in Transition: Émilie Du Châtelet and the Encyclopédie

You are warmly invited to the second presentation in the Summer 2022 series of New Voices talks (focused on Du Châtelet). The next talk will be by *Eszter Kovács,* with *”Lost in Transition: Émilie Du Châtelet and the Encyclopédie.”* This online talk will be hosted on Zoom on *Thursday the 30th of June at 5PM CET*.

*Eszter Kovács* is an assistant research fellow at the Research Institute for Politics and Government of the University of Public Service, Budapest. She is also an associate member of the institute IHRIM (Lyon). She holds an MA in French and in Hungarian, and a PhD in French literature. She carried out studies in philosophy while a postdoctoral researcher in literature at the University of Szeged. She is currently working on a PhD in philosophy, dedicated to early modern female conceptions of liberty. Her main research interests include Diderot, Montesquieu, Émilie Du Chatelet, and Mary Astell.

*Abstract of the talk: *Émilie Du Châtelet’s place in the *Encyclopédie* has been discussed by Koffi Maglo in 2008 and Glenn Roe, who have
demonstrated extensive borrowings from Du Chatelet’s *Foundations* without explicit reference to the author or her work. In 2017, while working on Châtelet’s conception of freedom, I discovered that the entry on *Dieu* borrows verbatim §25 of the *Foundations*, which offers a definition of divine freedom. I have later identified passages borrowed from the *Foundations* in the entry *Uniforme*, as well as a likely paraphrase in *Succession*. Furthermore, Du Châtelet’s ideas on freedom appear in the entry *Liberté*, while an idea close to hers on divine foreknowledge appears in the entries *Fortuit* and *Optimisme*, both written by D’Alembert.
These results together mean that Du Châtelet’s thought can be found in some twenty entries and we can count on further findings. Verbatim borrowings from the Foundations in the *Encyclopédie* originate from Samuel Formey, while in D’Alembert’s thought we can find a methodological resemblance with Du Châtelet’s work. Searching for Châtelet’s influence in Diderot’s thought is somewhat fruitless. However, as I will point out, the Newtonian idea of “absolute rest”, discussed in the Foundations, which was reused in the entry* Repos* of the *Encyclopédie*, also reappears in Diderot’s *Principes philosophiques sur la matière et le movement* (1770).

In addition to presenting these and other findings, the talk and ensuing discussion will also deal with methodological strategies for detecting borrowings from Du Châtelet in later texts.

I hope many of you will be able to join us for an interesting talk and a friendly and engaged discussion!  If you have registered for the New Voices talk series previously, you do not need to register again. If you haven’t registered before and need a Zoom link, please register here:
contact@historyofwomenphilosophers.org (an empty email with ‘New Voices Talk Series’ in the subject is fine).

New Voices is an international group for scholars working on women in the history of philosophy at the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. New Voices intends to interconnect and further the work of scholars in the field of Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy. New Voices is currently organized by Clara Carus, Jil Muller, and Aaron Wells, with the help of Violeta Milicevic and the rest of the team at the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists (directed by Ruth Hagengruber). For further  information about New Voices or to join New Voices please visit:


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