Vis Vim Vi: Declinations of Force in Leibniz’s Dynamics

  • Tzuchien Tho

Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 46)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Tzuchien Tho
    Pages 15-40
  3. Tzuchien Tho
    Pages 67-91
  4. Tzuchien Tho
    Pages 119-138
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 139-147

About this book


This book presents a systematic reconstruction of Leibniz’s dynamics project (c. 1676-1700) that contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the concepts of physical causality in Leibniz’s work and 17th century physics. It argues that Leibniz’s theory of forces privileges the causal relationship between structural organization and physical phenomena instead of body-to-body mechanical causation. The mature conception of Leibnizian force is not the power of one body to cause motion in another, but a kind of structural causation related to the configuration of integral systems of bodies in physical evolution. By treating the immanent philosophy of Leibniz’s dynamics, this book makes explicit the systematic aims and inherent limits of Leibniz's physical project, in addition to providing an alternative vision of the scientific understanding of the physical world in the late 17th and early 18th century.


Arbitrary Intertial Frame Formation of Analytic Mechanics Formation of Classical Mechanics Mathematization of Science Structural Realism Vis Viva Controversy

Authors and affiliations

  • Tzuchien Tho
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

Bibliographic information