Leibniz on the limitations of mathematical physics
"I discovered Aristotle as a lad, and even the Scholastics did not repel me;
even now I do not regret this.
But then Plato too, and Plotinus, gave me some satisfaction, not to mention
other ancient thinkers whom
I consulted later. After finishing the trivial schools, I fell upon the
moderns, and I recall walking in a grove
on the outskirts of Leipzig called the Rosental, at the age of fifteen, and
deliberating whether to preserve
substantial forms or not. Mechanism finally prevailed and led me to apply
myself to mathematics….
But when I looked for the ultimate reasons for mechanism, and even for the laws
of motion, I was greatly
surprised to see that they could not be found in mathematics but that I should
have to return to metaphysics. "
Dr. Roger B Clough NIST (ret.) [1/1/2000]
See my Leibniz site at
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