Between Newton’s Principia (1687), and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and Lagrange’s Mécanique analytique (1788), the relationships between metaphysics, matter theory, mechanics and physics were transformed. This talk concerns some of the questions at stake and the approaches used to address them during this period, including developments in epistemology and methodology, and the changing relationships of authority and priority among the different approaches.

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