Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 2009 - Social Science - 456 pages

Though most historians remember her as the mistress of Voltaire, Emilie Du Châtelet (1706–49) was an accomplished writer in her own right, who published multiple editions of her scientific writings during her lifetime, as well as a translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica that is still the standard edition of that work in French. Had she been a man, her reputation as a member of the eighteenth-century French intellectual elite would have been assured.

In the 1970s, feminist historians of science began the slow work of recovering Du Châtelet’s writings and her contributions to history and philosophy. For this edition, Judith P. Zinsser has selected key sections from Du Châtelet’s published and unpublished works, as well as related correspondence, part of her little-known critique of the Old and New Testaments, and a treatise on happiness that is a refreshingly uncensored piece of autobiography—making all of them available for the first time in English. The resulting volume will recover Châtelet’s place in the pantheon of French letters and culture.

 

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Contents

Volume Editors Introduction
1
Volume Editors Bibliography
25
I Bernard Mandevilles The Fable of the Bees
35
II Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire
53
III Foundations of Physics
105
IV Examinations of the Bible
201
V Commentary on Newtons Principia
251
VI Discourse on Happiness
345
Series Editors Bibliography
367
Index
405
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Judith P. Zinsser is professor of history and an affiliate in the women’s studies program at Miami University. She is the author of Emilie Du Châtelet: Daring Genius of the Enlightenment.

Isabelle Bour is professor of eighteenth-century English studies at the Sorbonne.

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