English Title

Reflections on space and time

Authors

Leonhard Euler

Enestrom Number

149

Fuss Index

746

Original Language

French

Published as

Journal article

Published Date

1750

Written Date

1748

Content Summary

Euler lays out his views on the relation between metaphysics and mechanics. The truths of mechanics are "so indubitably constant" that they must be founded in the natures of bodies. Metaphysics is the study of the nature of bodies, therefore the laws of mechanics constrain metaphysical theories. In fact, any metaphysical idea or conclusion corresponding to a mechanical one must agree with mechanics in all of its implications. This applies in particular to space and time. Real, absolute, space and time are assumed by the laws of mechanics. Therefore, metaphysical arguments for the unreality of space and time must be unfounded and "hide some paralogism".

Original Source Citation

Mémoires de l'académie des sciences de Berlin, Volume 4, pp. 324-333.

Opera Omnia Citation

Series 3, Volume 2, pp.376-383.

Record Created

2018-09-25

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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