Register for O’Hara Philosophy of Physics Lecture - How Physics Flew The Philosophers’ Nest - Katherine Brading, May 20, 2021

Poster for Lecture - all copy is listed below

Join us for How Physics Flew The Philosophers’ Nest - Katherine Brading, Professor of Philosophy, Duke University, on May 20, 2021, on Zoom at 5 pm, part of the O’Hara Philosophy of Physics Lecture Series.

Register here for How Physics Flew The Philosopher’s Nest lecture.

Pre-screen the lecture: How Physics Flew The Philosopher's Nest here. The lecture will be screened on May 20, 2021, at 5 pm followed by a live virtual Q&A.  Please submit questions for Professor Brading here.


Physics and philosophy are today housed in separate departments and, by and large, practiced by different people. Physics is – or at least seems to be – largely independent of philosophy. It was not always thus. And, contrary to popular opinion, the “Scientific Revolution” of the 17th century is not when the two went their separate ways. So when, how, and why did physics fly the philosophers’ nest? How, and to what extent, did physics gain its autonomy? And with what consequences? This is a big story, and to find our way we’ll follow one thread that runs throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, engaging “philosophers” such as Descartes, Leibniz, Du Châtelet, and Kant, and “physicists” such as Newton, Huygens, Euler, and d’Alembert, alike. All puzzled over the same issue: how do bodies (inanimate, animate, or even human) act on one another?

Sponsored by the Patrick O’Hara & Caterina Randolph Fund for Philosophy.