Pendulum Clocks in the Seventeenth Century Philosophy


Dr. Filip Buyse


„Vasile Goldiş” University Press

Presentation text

In 1657, Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) designed his pendulum clock based on the idea of synchronism discovered by his master Galileo (1564-1642). His pendulum clocks were much more adequate than other mechanical clocks. Consequently, as timekeepers, their invention had an enormous impact on the social and professional lives of people. However, they were also applied as metaphors and mechanical analogies by philosophers. Before Huygens’s invention, philosophers such as Descartes (1596-1650) and astronomers such Kepler (1571-1630) had already applied the clock metaphor. However, Huygens’s invention renewed and stimulated this application. In this bundle, several authors explore the application of the pendulum clock in the works by early modern philosophers such as Leibniz, Spinoza, Galileo, Huygens, Santorio, etc.