The Final Years

in The Man Who Flattened the Earth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226793603
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226793627 | DOI:
The Final Years

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Maupertuis tried to maintain his cordial relations with the Prussian king, promising him that his absence from Berlin was only temporary, while simultaneously exploring other solutions to his dilemma that would allow him to remain in France. Euler's letters from this period contain a startling mixture of news about military campaigns, reports of war-induced austerity in Berlin, scientific news, and prosaic reports of the weekly proceedings at the Academy. Theories, speculations, laws, and empirical evidence are all human productions, with a history, constrained by the limitations of the human senses and intelligence. Maupertuis found himself buffeted by political and military events, and torn by competing personal loyalties. Maupertuis's ambitions extended beyond the structured institutions of science, while remaining firmly grounded in elite bodies.

Keywords: Maupertuis; Berlin; Euler; military campaigns; science

Chapter.  10226 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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