Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Leibniz, Doctrine of Force

  • Edward SlowikEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_25-1


Leibniz’s concept of force differs significantly from his seventeenth-century contemporaries and seems closer to the concept of energy in modern physics.

The Intricacies of Leibnizian Force

Among the hypotheses that comprise Leibniz’ physics and metaphysics, his conception of bodily force may be the most complex and multifaceted, as well as the most forward-looking. Indeed, if viewed against the backdrop of modern physics, Leibnizian force can be seen in retrospect as foreshadowing the rise of the energy and field concepts in later centuries. Yet, leaving aside those aspects of his approach which presage modern developments, Leibniz’ conception of force nonetheless remains rooted in the kinematic and static models that comprise the seventeenth century’s mechanical outlook, and thus his achievements in this area can be categorized alongside the earlier contributions of Descartes, Galileo, and Huygens, to name only a few.

The intricacies of Leibnizian force.
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Related Topics

Leibniz’ natural philosophy Descartes’ physics Newton’s physics Mechanics Motion Laws of nature Body 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWinona State UniversityWinonaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marius Stan
    • 1
  1. 1.PhilosophyBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA