Enlightenment Infinitesimals and Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):433-451 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


During the Enlightenment period the concept of the infinitesimal was developed as a means to solve the mathematical problem of the incommensurability between human reason and the movements of physical beings. In this essay, the author analyzes the metaphysical prejudices subtending Enlightenment Humanism through the lens of the infinitesimal calculus. One of the consequences of this analysis is the perception of a two-fold possibility occasioned by the infinitesimal. On the one hand, it occasions an extreme form of humanism, “transhumanism,” which exhibits limitless confidence in the possibility of human science. On the other hand, the concept of the infinitesimal also contains within itself a source for a critical “posthumanism,” that is to say, a source which initiates the dissolution of the presuppositions of humanism while simultaneously announcing a different ontological organization. In, Tostoy’s novel takes up the problem of the relation between reason and motion and makes the two-fold possibility visible by presenting a contrast between its theoretical presentations and the lived experiences of the characters in the novel. Thus, is the setting in which the author has chosen to conduct this analysis.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,948

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Infinitesimals: A Defense.Stacey Lynn Edgar - 1982 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
L.N. Tolstoy: The Enlightener who Overcame the Enlightenment.S. M. Klimova - 2019 - Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences 62 (2):109-126.
Enlightenment: The crisis and transformation of the concept.Mile Savic - 2006 - Filozofija I Društvo 2006 (30):9-29.
Lagrange Lecture: Methodology of numerical computations with infinities and infinitesimals.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2010 - Rendiconti Del Seminario Matematico dell'Università E Del Politecnico di Torino 68 (2):95–113.


Added to PP

1 (#1,575,972)

6 months
1 (#505,949)

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references