Leibniz is well-known for both his mathematical accomplishments and for his work in metaphysics and the theory of knowledge. However, it is less well-known that Leibniz was an active participant in the empirical sciences of his day. Leibniz was interested in mathematical physics, in framing the laws that govern motion, and wrote on cosmology and astronomy, sciences that involve a combination of empirical research and mathematical and rational considerations. But he was also interested in more purely empirical investigations of the world. His /Protogaea/, though first published in 1749, many years after his death, was an important and influential statement about the formation and evolution of the earth, as well as the interpretation of fossils. Leibniz’s views on the composition of living things and their functions, particularly reproduction, were novel and important. Leibniz also extended his researches into medicine, alchemy, natural history, mechanics, engineering, and other areas of empirical inquiry. Now that these works are in the process of being edited and published, we can begin to get a sense of this side of Leibniz’s universal genius. Studying them will illuminate both Leibniz’s larger world view and the scientific world of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in which he lived.
The Conference will be held from the 12^th to the 15^th of February 2009 in Tenerife, The Canary Islands, Spain. The venue will be at the Liceo de Taoro in La Orotava. The academic sessions will take place on the 12^th , 13^th and 14^th ; on Sunday 15^th there will be a scientific-cultural excursion to the Teide National Park.
The congress will consist of lectures and contributed papers. There will be 18 lectures of 40 minutes and 8 contributed talks of 20 minutes. The official languages of the conference will be Spanish, English, French, German and Latin. Those who would like to be considered for the program should send an abstract of roughly one page to the attention of Carlos Martín at the Fundación Canaria Orotava de Historia de la Ciencia <[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>>. Abstracts are due by September 20, 2008. Those accepted will be informed by early October 2008. Fundación Orotava offers three days of free accommodation, including meals, to the authors of admitted contributed talks (February, 12^th -14^th ).
The following invited speakers have confirmed their participation:
Daniel Garber Princeton University
Michel Fichant Université de París IV
Eberhard Knobloch Technische Universität Berlin
François Duchesneau Université de Montréal
Mark Kulstad Rice University, Texas
Domenico Bertoloni Meli Indiana University
Juan Arana Universidad de Sevilla
Juan Nicolás Universidad de Granada
Evaristo Álvarez Universidad de Oviedo
Simone Rieger Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin)
Hans Poser Technische Universität Berlin
Friedrich Hulsmann Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hannover.
Justin Smith Concordia University, Montréal
Anne Lise Rey MCF Lille I/UMR STL, France
Catherine Wilson The Graduate Center—CUNY , USA
Roger Ariew University of South Florida