The British Journal for the History of Science

Research Article

The Leibnizian-Newtonian Debates: Natural Philosophy and Social Psychology

Carolyn Iltisa1

a1 Department of Physics, Harney Science Center, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94117, U.S.A.

By the time of the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence of 1716 the Newtonian and Leibnizian systems of natural philosophy had reached maturity. Each system consisted of different physical as well as metaphysical principles which, taken together, formed a world view. At the time of their famous debates, Leibniz at 70 and Newton at 74, the founders of two highly developed scientific philosophies, were struggling to establish and defend the ontological and mechanical bases of differing bodies of organized knowledge.