The Berlin Academy in the Reign of Frederick the Great: Philosophy and Science
Tinca Prunea-Bretonnet, Peter R. Anstey
Liverpool University Press, 2022 - Enlightenment - 275 pages
This collection sheds new light on the nature, role and practice of philosophy and science in the renewed Berlin Academy from the mid-1740s to the 1790s, and in so doing provides a robust new instalment of materials for the broader task of constructing a historiography of philosophy at thisimportant Enlightenment institution. The collection ranges from discussions of the roles of philosophy and natural philosophy in the formation of the reinvigorated Academy in the mid-1740s, to conceptions of the correct philosophical methodology to be deployed by the Academy. It provides the firstever study of the nature and arrangement of the new classes of the Academy, and a fresh appraisal of the Academy's methodological eclecticism. One recurring theme is the status of metaphysics: there are studies of both special metaphysics, including the study of the soul; general metaphysics, thatis, the study of being in general; and foundational metaphysical principles and concepts, such as Maupertuis's Principle of least action, Euler's concept of space and Lambert's notion of an experimental metaphysics. The collection also takes the study of the Academy in new directions through focusedstudies of important figures whose writings deserve to be better understood, such as Jean Bernard Merian, Louis de Beausobre, Jean Henri Samuel Formey and Johann Georg Sulzer.