• Andre Charrak Gave a Lecture Entitled "Empiricism and Certainty in Science "
  • Update Time: 2023-04-12

Invited by Department of the History of Science and Technology in the West, Associate Professor Andre Charrak gave a lecture entitled "Empiricism and Certainty in Science: Reflections on the Philosophy of Rational Mechanics in the 18th Century" at IHNS on Nov. 4th, 2016. Associate Professor Yao Dazhi, vice director of the department, presided the lecture.

During this lecture, Prof. Andre Charrak examined the possibility, for the Enlightenment empiricist philosophers (such as Maupertuis or d’Alembert), to achieve certainty in natural sciences. The reporter argued that while these authors pretended to follow the Lockean refutation of the Cartesian ideal of certitude and were informed of the skeptical critic of causality by Hume. yet in the context of Franco-Berlin empiricism, which also inspired Kant, the modal status of the laws of nature doesn’t depend on the examination of the human mind, but on the analysis of the application of one science to another. In this perspective, he concluded that rational mechanics provide the example of the highest certainty in physics as well as the standard for evaluation of the value of others sciences for scientist in that period of history. At the end of the lecture, there was a short, yet beneficial discussion between the speaker and participants over the lecture.

Andre Charrak is Maître de conférence (HDR) of philosophy in the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, as well as a researcher in CNRS, France. His major research areas are history of philosophy and philosophy of music.