This volume explores the themes of vanishing matter, matter and the laws of nature, the qualities of matter, and the diversity of the debates about matter in the early modern period. Chapters are unified by a number of interlocking themes which together enable some of the broader contours of the philosophy of matter to be charted in new ways. Part I concerns Cartesian Matter; Part II covers Matter, Mechanism and Medicine; Part III covers Matter and the Laws of Motion; and Part IV covers Leibniz and Hume. Bringing together some of the world’s leading scholars of early modern philosophy, as well as some exciting new researchers, Vanishing Matter and the Laws of Motion stakes out new territory that all serious scholars of early modern philosophy and science will want to traverse.
Introduction I. Cartesian Matter 1. The Vanishing Nature of Body in Descartes' Natural Philosophy Mihnea Dobre 2. The New Matter Theory and Its Epistemology: Descartes (and late Scholastics) on Hypotheses and Moral Certainty Roger Ariew II. Matter, Mechanism, and Medicine 3. Post-Cartesian Atomism: The Case of Francois Bernier Vlad Alexandrescu 4. The Matter of Medicine: New Medical Matter Theories in Mid-Seventeenth-Century England Peter Anstey 5. Without God: Gravity as a Relational Quality of Matter in Newton's Treatise Eric Schliesser III. Matter and the Laws of Motion 6. The Cartesians of the Royal Society: The Debate Over the Nature of collisions (1668-1671) Dana Jalobeanu 7. On Composite Systems: Descartes, Newton, and the Law-Constitutive Approach Katherine Brading 8. Huygens, Wren, Wallis, and Newton on Rules of Impact and Reflection Jemma Murray, William Harper, and Curtis Wilson IV. Leibniz and Hume 9. Leibniz, Body and Monads Daniel Garber 10. Leibniz on Void and Matter Sorin Costreie 11. Hume on the Distinction Between Primary and Secondary Qualities Jani Hakkarainen