What Was Mechanical About Mechanics: The Concept of Force between Metaphysics and Mechanics from Newton to Lagrange by J.C. BoudriWhat Was Mechanical About Mechanics: The Concept of Force between Metaphysics and Mechanics from Newton to Lagrange by J.C. Boudri

What Was Mechanical About Mechanics: The Concept of Force between Metaphysics and Mechanics from…

byJ.C. Boudri

Paperback | December 9, 2010

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The great debates of the 18th century about the true measure of living force and the principle of least action, etc., can only be understood in depth if we realize that, at that time, mechanics was more than just mechanics. From Newton and Leibniz to Euler, Maupertuis, d'Alembert, and Lagrange, there was a metaphysical dimension to the pertinent issues, albeit partly at an implicit level. This gave the debates their typical flavor and texture, and influenced their outcomes deeply. On an explicit level, there was a progressive rejection of the traditional metaphysical approach to the foundations of mechanics. This was accompanied by profound conceptual changes in mechanics, away from force conceived as a substance, like water, and toward force conceived as a relationship between the elements in a structure of space and time. Thus these controversies helped to turn mechanics into the discipline we recognize today.
J. Christian Boudri studied mechanical engineering at the University of Twente. From 1988 to 1994 he worked in the field of the history of science at the same university, under the supervision of H. Floris Cohen and C. Hakfoort. The present book is the result of that period. Since 1995, Boudri's professional activity has been in the fi...
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Title:What Was Mechanical About Mechanics: The Concept of Force between Metaphysics and Mechanics from…Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0.27 inPublished:December 9, 2010Publisher:Springer NetherlandsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9048159253

ISBN - 13:9789048159253

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations. Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. Part A: The Unity of the Concept of Force. 2. Force like Water. 3. Leibniz: Force as the Essence of Substance. Part B: Towards a New Metaphysics. 4. From Cause to Phenomenon. 5. From Efficient to Final Causes: The Origin of the Principle of Least Action. Part C: Between Metaphysics and Mechanics. 6. The Concept of Force in the 1779 Berlin Essay Competition. 7. Lagrange's Concept of Force. 8. Metaphysics Concealed.Bibliography. Index.