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Women and Liberty, 1600-1800Philosophical Essays$
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Jacqueline Broad and Karen Detlefsen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810261

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810261.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

If I Were King! Morals and Physics in Emilie Du Châtelet’s Subtle Thoughts on Liberty

If I Were King! Morals and Physics in Emilie Du Châtelet’s Subtle Thoughts on Liberty

Chapter:
(p.195) 12 If I Were King! Morals and Physics in Emilie Du Châtelet’s Subtle Thoughts on Liberty
Source:
Women and Liberty, 1600-1800
Author(s):

Ruth Hagengruber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198810261.003.0013

This chapter argues that Emilie Du Châtelet’s practical moral philosophy and her theoretical physics are intimately connected into a systematic whole. Both the moral philosophy and the physics exhibit the same method, which relies, for example, on the principle of contradiction. Du Châtelet uses this method to argue against the injustice of women’s reduced educational opportunity and thus reduced freedom, as well as identifying the source of women’s social ostracism. Moreover, this chapter also shows a strong connection between content in morals and physics, and does so by focusing on the nature of freedom, and which conceptions of freedom are compatible with the laws of physics and the nature of force. Du Châtelet’s conceptual relations with a number of intellectuals, including Mandeville, Locke, and Voltaire, substantiate these points.

Keywords:   Emilie Du Châtelet, Mandeville, Locke, Voltaire, method, free will, physics, forces, laws

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