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Action and freedom: studies in the history of philosophy of Elisabeth of Bohemia and Émilie Du Châtelet

Grant number: 23/11189-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Luiz Henrique Lopes dos Santos
Grantee:Katarina Ribeiro Peixoto
Supervisor: Jorge Ernesto Secada Koechlin
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Virginia (UVa), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:22/06900-2 - Action and Freedom: studies in the history of philosophy of Elisabeth da Bohemia and Émilie Du Châtelet, BP.PD


This research project is a subsidiary to a broader project1, on the conceptual foundations of action and freedom in the early modern period. The study has a dialogical trait as a methodological perspective that stems, firstly, from a possible theory of mind articulated to one of action and deliberation, in the order of the knowledge of the essence of immaterial substance in Elisabeth of Bohemia's reading of Descartes's Metaphysical Meditations (1641). Secondly, the proposed research aims at another possibility: the reconstruction of a theory of action and freedom in the philosophy of Émilie Du Châtelet, mostly in her On Freedom (1737), whose authorship has been recently restored. The two steps are connected by a metaphysics of intentionality, that is to say, a framework on the nature of the mind conveyed in both theories of two women philosophers on action and freedom, in their dialogues and readings of Descartes (Elisabeth) and Leibnizian metaphysics (Du Châtelet). To do so, the project intends to benefit from the direct dialogue with the Cartesian and rationalist perspective of Jorge Secada, with which the perspective of the proponent is very much aligned to. The research path in unprecedented in a growing field in the scholarship of the Early Modern Philosophy that may lead to promising contemporary views on action and intentionality as well. The project was accepted to be executed at the Philosophy Department of the University of Virginia - UVA - under the supervision of Professor Secada himself. (AU)

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