Around Hansch’s and Kästner’s natural philosophies


Researcher: Arnaud Pelletier

Leibnizianism has long been recognized as a force opposed to Newtonianism in 18th-century German philosophy, a force that took part of its bearings from the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence (published in 1717). Recent works have nuanced this opposition, particularly through the renewed interest for the work of Émilie de Châtelet. Yet Leibnizianism is still largely identified with the Leibnizian-Wolffian school.

Couteracting this assumption, this subproject studies relatively ignored authors who understood themselves as more or less orthodox Leibnizians and challenged not only some of the Wolffian, but also some of the Newtonian theses: Hansch, Goldbach, Kortholt the young, Von Behr, Von Hinüber and Kästner. Among them, it focuses on the contributions to natural philosophy by M. G. Hansch (1683-1749) and A. G. Kästner (1719-1800), and in particular on the role of mathematics in natural sciences.