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Verelst, Karin

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Personalia

Karin Verelst, born in Mol, Belgium, in 1965. Researcher of History and Philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

(1 Sept 2016 - 31 Jan 2017)

A Giant Debate: the letters of Huygens, Leibniz and Fatio, one of Newton's close friends

Research Question

When what we now call "science" was invented, debates on how to do good science and what good science is supposed to investigate were going on. One of the most intriguing of them has largely escaped notice, because it lies buried in this hitherto unpublished correspondence. The project will fill this historical lacuna by publishing it in a commented edition.   

Project Description

At the end of the seventeenth century, many debates on how to do good science and what good science is supposed to investigate were going on. Even today science and philosophy often overlap, and sometimes even science and theology, especially when it comes to what are considered the "foundations" of the scientific worldview. One of the most intriguing and important debates ever to take place on these topics has largely escaped notice up to now, because it lies buried in the hitherto unpublished correspondence between our three protagonists, one of whom is Dutch (Huygens). This project will fill this historical lacuna by publishing their correspondence in a commented, scientific edition, and so does contribute to our understanding of the "Scientific Revolution".

Selected Publications

  1. Newton vs. Leibniz: Intransparency vs. Inconsistency
    Synthese, 191, 13, 2014, pp. 2907-2940
    special issue: Is Science Inconsistent?
    Otavio Bueno and Peter Vickers (eds.)
    DOI: 10.1007/s11229-014-0465-7
    arXiv:1203.2292v1 [physics.hist-ph] 10 Mar 2012
    Author: Karin Verelst
  2. “Whatever Is Neither Everywhere Nor Anywhere Does Not Exist”: The Concepts of Space and Time in Newton and Leibniz
    Foundations of Science, 18, 3, 2013
    DOI 10.1007/s10699-011-9276-1 (March 2012)
    Authors: Maarten van Dyck and Karin Verelst

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