Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Diderot, Philosopher of Energy: The Development of His Concept of Physical Energy, 1745-69: 1988
Foyalty 182

Diderot, Philosopher of Energy: The Development of His Concept of Physical Energy, 1745-69: 1988 (Hardback)

£60.00
Currently unavailable to order online.
Email me when back in stock

Synopsis

The title of this work may seem to beg an important question, since it rests on the assumption that Diderot has a `concept of physical energy'. Indeed the aim of the study is, in part, to assemble evidence in support of the acte de foi implicit in its title. I am using `physical energy' in a loose sense, as a convenient term to denote `what matter can do' as distinct from `what matter is made of'. Hence it may be taken as broadly synonymous with `power' or `force', encompassing both active and potential forms, and thus corresponding to a combination of the fourth and fifth senses identified by the Oxford English Dictionary:



4. Power actively and efficiently displayed or exerted.



5. Power not necessarily manifested in action; ability or capacity to produce an effect.



Modern subatomic physics, of course, recognises no such distinction between `being' and `doing'; at a fundamental level, matter-as-substance and matter-as-energy are interchangeable (and, as I shall argue towards the end of the study, Diderot himself comes close to a similar position). Nevertheless, the division is both justifiable and useful within the context of eighteenth-century philosophies of nature. For, as many scholars have pointed out, the trend towards nature as an integrated, active phenomenon, in place of the cartesian view of passive etendue only incidentally endowed with motion, was crucial to the development of scientific thought in the mid-eighteenth century. Debate and development on such issues as Newtonian attraction, inertia, electricity and magnetism, chemical reactions, not only contributed directly to the advancement of physics and chemistry, but also (like cartesian mechanism) impinged upon the perennial biological questions, themselves being investigated from a new and exciting angle.



As a philosopher rather than a practising scientist, Diderot was ideally placed to draw freely and creatively on all these areas, and his speculations on what we might call `the nature of nature' are highly characteristic of the new approach. He comes increasingly to discuss and define natural phenomena (organic and inorganic alike) from the point of view of nature's powers - in the spirit of Renaissance naturalism, but from the perspective of up-to-date scientific findings. It is in this sense that I refer to a `concept of physical energy'.



Given the organic quality of Diderot's thought, it is not surprising to find the idea of energy recurring in other areas of his works. If man is composed of matter - active matter - than all human activity, be it moral, political, aesthetic, becomes capable of interpretation in terms of energy. I share Chouillet's conviction that this is a crucial aspect of Diderot's overall philosophy, which deserves to be more widely recognised and more fully understood.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPhilosophy TheoryPhilosophy: metaphysics & ontologyReference & Research Publisher: Liverpool University Press Publication Date: 01/01/1988 ISBN-13: 9780729403665  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

More books by B.Lynne Dixon

Leave Review

Delivery

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Special delivery items

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Animator's Survival Kit

For delivery charges for the Animator's Survival Kit please click here.

 

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Digital Consciousness: A...
(Paperback)
Jim Elvidge
 
 
£16.99
 
Atonement
(Hardback)
Eleonore Stump
 
 
£60.00
 
On Life
(Paperback)
Leo Tolstoy; Inessa Medzhibovskaya;...
 
 
£30.50
 
Time To Tell: a look at how we tick
(Paperback)
Ronald Green
 
 
£16.99
 
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close