Leibniz & The Foundations of Physics

April 23, 2018
Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Priory Rd Complex F Blk 4F5
Priory Rd Complex F Blk 4F5
United Kingdom

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King's College London
Oxford University
University of Bristol
Bristol University


University of Bristol
Bristol University

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This workshop explores the continuing relevance of G.W. Leibniz’s physical works from historical and contemporary perspectives. Leibniz’s own well-documented motivation behind his mature physical writings was to use his discoveries in the dynamics to provide an avenue for elaborating his metaphysical ideas. Arguing not only against established Cartesianism on the Continent but also against the mechanists, and Newton (and the Newtonians) in Britain, what was at stake was the very foundations of our knowledge of physical reality.  These ideas were forged in the intertwined networks of controversy in the late 17th century but continued to factor into the development of 18th century physics despite the solidification of a “Newtonian” consensus. When so-called “classical mechanics” began to rupture in the late 19th century, Leibniz again returned onto the stage as the old prophet of new ideas: Einsteinian relativity, symmetry and algebraic topology. Contributions in this workshop will treat Leibniz not only in his context, his reception in the history of modern physics, but also his contemporary relevance to the philosophy of physics.

SPEAKERS: Vincenzo De Risi (CNRS Paris), Eleanor Knox (KCL), Simon Saunders (Oxford), Karim Thébault (Bristol), Tzuchien Tho (Bristol)

Please consult the University of Bristol department of philosophy website for updates and more information: www.bristol.ac.uk/philosophy/events/

Organised by the University of Bristol Department of Philosophy, the Centre for Science and Philosophy, and the Institute for Advanced Studies

Please direct any questions to: tt17255*at*bristol.ac.uk

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