Laws for

 dynamic development




Marinus Dirk Stafleu


© 2015: M.D.Stafleu 

revised 2017


Table of contents

General introduction

Index of cited works

Index of historical persons




Table of contents


General introduction


Part I: Time and again

General laws for the development of relations

1. Framework

2. Number and space

3. Metric and measurement

4. The dynamic development of kinematics

6. Irreversibility

7. Wave packets

8. Individuality and probability

9. Probability in quantum physics


Part II: Emerging structures

Specific laws for natural evolution

10. Structures of individuality

11. Physical characters

12. Biotic characters

13.  Inventory of behaviour characters


Part III: Dynamic development of humanity

Normative principles for human conduct

14. The emergence of humanity from the animal world

15. Ethics, values and norms

16. Herman Dooyeweerd on cosmic time and history

17. Dynamic development in the normative relation frames

18. Dynamic engines of historical development

19. Artefacts 

20. Professionals and associations as actors in history and policy

21. Communities and the public domain

22. The origin of authority 





General introduction


The Christian philosophy of dynamic development introduced in this book has a religious, a philosophical, an ethical, as well as a social starting point.

The first is the realist religious view, confessing that God created the world according to laws and values which are invariable because He sustains them. Christians know God through Jesus Christ, who submitted himself to the Law of God. Natural laws and normative values are not a priori given, but partial knowledge thereof can be achieved by studying the dynamic law-conformity of the creation, which, in contrast to the eternal God, is in every respect temporal, in a perennial state of dynamic development.

Second, the critical theoretical starting point will be the recognition that the diversity of temporal reality cannot be reduced to a single principle of explanation. In the study of the structural development of this diversity I shall distinguish modal or general diversity expressed in mutually irreducible relation frames, from special or typical diversity, expressed in characters for individuality. I shall argue that the modal aspects should be considered relation frames, such that in each frame laws or normative principles can be discovered, with a temporal order for relations between subjects and objects.  

Third, the ethical point of view is that human acts are not fully determined, but depend to some extent on free will and responsibility, being only determined by laws of nature as far as they are natural. Invariable universal values will be distinguished from historically and culturally variable norms, allowing for a rich variety of acts, artefacts, and associations.

Fourth, history, ethics, and policy are not individual but social enterprises, presupposing many kinds of temporal relations between people.

This book is concerned with the idea of an open future. Before the rise of classical physics, philosophers adhered to a closed world view, in which everything worthwhile was contained in either the antique books of Plato, Aristotle, and others, with comments written by Muslim and Christian scholars, or in the secretive revelations of alchemists. From the 16th century onwards scientists discovered that they could open up their world by the use of daring theories and unheard of experiments. Physics, biology, and ethology were developed at an amazing pace, at first assuming a closed determinist mechanist view, but later allowing of stochastic processes with an open end. Since the 19th century, evolution was recognized as the natural kind of dynamic development preceding history as its cultural form. Besides evolution, history has an open future, for which people take their responsibility in freedom to act. The investigation of dynamic development assumes that any kind of development requires a driving force, which may be a push or a pull, or both. Any development is made possible by laws and is constrained by these as well. It also requires a latitude of randomness in nature, and of human freedom in history.

Laws for dynamic development is an updated compilation of several earlier works. It is divided into four parts. Part I about the foundations of modern physics is a revised version of Time and again (1980). It investigates what Dooyeweerd called the theoretical opening process of the modal aspects, pushed by retrocipations and pulled by anticipations.

Part II revises some chapters of Een wereld vol relaties (2002), discussing modern natural science in its dynamic development since the turn of the 20th century. It investigates natural evolution with its random pushing forces of collisions in the astrophysical realm, natural selection in living beings, and sexual reproduction in the animal world. These random forces could not have much effect if they were not complemented by the specific pull of typical structures, as I shall argue extensively. 

Part III deals with the normative relation frames and characters, containing material published in Relations and characters in Protestant philosophy, parts I-II (2006) and in Chronos and Clio (2011). Here several kinds of dynamic development will be found, first the opening process in the normative relation frames, pushed by retrocipations and pulled by anticipations, guided by the temporal order in each normative aspect. Next the transfer of experience in asymmetric subject-subject relations. Third, the invention and application of many kinds of artefacts stimulated historical development. Fourth, unorganized communities with their subjective networks turn out to constitute the public domain, sustained by objective networks, the infrastructure of any society. Fifth I shall discuss the development of organized associations with the pull of authority and the push of discipline. And finally I shall investigate the structure and purpose of the state as the guardian of the public domain. All these developments are pushed by human freedom and responsibility, and are both constrained and stimulated by invariable values and variable norms.


Laws for dynamic development is based on the philosophy of the cosmonomic idea designed in the first half of the 20th century by Herman Dooyeweerd and Dirk Vollenhoven. This philosophy will not be treated as a mere historical phenomenon, but as a dynamic Christian view of reality, to be critically investigated and continuously developed in several respects.


  1. Like Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven I make distinction between subjects, directly subject to some law, and objects being determined by some law only indirectly, i.e., via a subject. I substitute Dooyeweerd’s law spheres or modal aspects (Vollenhoven’s functions) by relation frames, believing that these mutually irreducible frames are sets of general laws (natural laws, respectively normative principles) for relations between subjects among each other (subject-subject relations) and between subjects and objects. Whereas Dooyeweerd mostly discussed subject-object relations, I shall emphasize the relevance of intersubjective relations. This will become part of my interpretation of ‘cosmic time’, deviating from Dooyeweerd’s, leading to a quite different view on history. In particular I want to show that in each relation frame the transfer of experience is expressed in asymmetric subject-subject relations.
  2. Accepting Dooyeweerd’s distinction between general, modal laws and specific or typical laws for individual things, events, etc., I shall develop his analysis of the structures of individuality. Distinguishing the law side from the subject side, I shall introduce the concept of a character, the set of laws determining a subjective class of individual subjects and an objective ensemble of possibilities. Like Dooyeweerd I assume that a character is primarily qualified by some relation frame, and secondarily founded in a preceding frame. I argue that each relation frame qualifies characters, including the mathematical aspects. There is always a tertiary characteristic, the disposition for a character to become interlaced with other characters. This phenomenon, which Dooyeweerd called ‘enkapsis’, is in my work much more elaborated than in Dooyeweerd’s, in particular with respect to the natural relation frames and characters. Rejecting both fundamentalist creationism and evolutionism, I shall make clear that natural evolution is constrained by natural laws, and is in no way contrary to the principles of the Christian philosophy of the cosmonomic idea.
  3. The general or modal laws in the first six relation frames differ from the normative principles or values in the succeeding frames. Whereas natural laws are compulsory, human beings are able to positivize normative principles into norms, which are therefore historically determined and culturally widely different. This means that humanity is called to develop the creation both at its law side and its subject side. I shall argue that humanity is called out of the animal world, and that human activity is radically different from animal behaviour.
  4. With respect to the order of the normative aspects, I assume that the first of these is the technical or formative aspect, followed by the lingual or semiotic and the logical aspects. I argue that the aspect of faith comes next, and that the juridical relation frame should be split into a political and a juridical one. The final frame of loving care should not be called ‘ethical’, and I do not consider ethics to be a specific science, but part of philosophical anthropology.
  5. I shall develop a new theory of artefacts, objects with a character of their own, qualified either by the technical relation frame and founded in one of the natural ones, or by one of the other normative relation frames and founded in the technical frame. This view allows of an intensive investigation of for instance the arts, of language, and of theoretical research.
  6. Making distinction between unorganized communities having a network structure and organized associations having a kind of government and members, I introduce a new view on social philosophy, on the public domain as an interconnected system of objective and subjective networks, and on the state as the guardian of the public domain. For the understanding of the structure of associations it is very important to distinguish between unchangeable character types determined by normative principles only, and the characters of actual associations, which include historically developed norms. This explains why there is a relatively small amount of character types, besides an enormous variety of associations (as well as of artefacts) and their mutual interlacements, in particular on the public domain.


Laws for dynamical development is more than a compilation of updated and revised works. It is composed from the common perspective of a continuously developing world, guided by natural laws and normative principles. Physics takes a relatively large part in this philosophy of dynamic development. This has, of course, a personal reason, because of my background as a physicist and philosopher of natural science. In the course of my studies, I discovered that the idea of development can only be understood as being dynamical, being caused, pulled or pushed by some force, not necessarily a physical one. Moreover, the idea of law has been much more developed in the physical sciences than beyond. Yet the three parts can be read independently. Readers who are not primarily interested in the natural sciences may be advised to start with part III. 

For a short and informal introduction to this work, see M.D.Stafleu (2017), The open future, Contours of a Christian philosophy of dynamic development,

See also: Stafleu, M.D. 2016 (T&E), Theory and experiment, Philosophy of science in a historical context,,


Index of cited works



HSNS = Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (formerly: Physical/ Physical and Biological Sciences)

PR = Philosophia Reformata


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Nadler, S. 2011, A book forged in hell, Spinoza’s scandalous treatise and the birth of the secular age, Princeton NJ.

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Index of historical persons


Abel, Niels H. 1802-1829

Adams, John C. 1819-1892

Adler, Alfred 1870-1937

Adorno, Theodor W. 1903-1969

Aepinus, Franz U.T. 1724-1802

Agricola, G. (Bauer) 1494-1555

Albert of Saxony c.1316-1390

d’Alembert, Jean le Rond 1717-1783

Alfonso X of Castille 1252-1284

Alhazen (Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytam) c.965-1039

Al-Kindi 813-873

Al-Shirazi, Qutb al-Din 1236-1311

Althusius (Althaus), Johannes 1557-1638

Amontons, Guillaume 1663-1705

Ampère, André-Marie 1775-1836

Apollonius of Perga c.260-c.190 BC

Appel, C.Karel 1921-2006

Arago, D. François J. 1786-1853

Archimedes of Syracuse 287(?)-212 BC

Arendt, Hannah 1906-1975

Aristarchus of Samos c.310- c.230 BC

Aristotle of Stagira 384-322 BC

Aspect, Alain 1947-

Auerbach, Erich 1892-1957

Augustinus, Aurelius 354-430

Austin, John 1790-1859

Averroës (Ibn-Rushd) 1126-1198

Avogadro, Amedeo 1776-1856


Bacon, Francis 1561-1626

Bacon, Roger c.1210-c.1292

Bär (Ursus), Reymers 1550-1599

Barberini, Francesco 1597-1679

Barberini, Maffeo 1568-1644, pope Urban VIII since 1623

Bardeen, John 1908-1991

Barth, Karl 1886-1968

Bartholin, Erasmus 1625-1698

Baumgarten, Alexander G. 1714-1762

Beeckman, Isaac 1588-1637

Bellarmine, Robert 1542-1621

Benedetti, Giovanni Battista 1530-1590

Bentham, Jeremy 1748-1832

Bentley, Richard 1662-1742

Berkeley, George 1685-1753

Berkhof , Hendrikus 1914-1995

Berlin, Isaac 1909-1997

Bernard van Clairvaux 1090-1153

Bernays, Paul 1988-1977

Bernoulli, Daniel 1700-1782

Bernoulli, Johann 1667-1748

Berzelius, Jöns Jacob 1779-1848

Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm 1782-1846

Biot, Jean-Baptiste 1774-1862

Black, Joseph 1728-1799

Bloch, Marc 1886-1944

Blok, Petrus J. 1855-1929

Bode, Johann E. 1747-1826

Bodin, Jean c.1530-1596

Bohm, David J. 1917-1992

Bohr, Niels 1885-1962

Bolyai, János 1802-1860

Boltzmann, Ludwig E. 1844-1906

Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso 1608-1679

Boscovich, Roger J. 1711-1787

Bose, Satyendra N. 1894-1974

Bothe, Walther 1891-1957

Boyle, Robert 1627-1691

Bragg, William L. 1890-1971

Brahe, Tycho 1546-1601

Braithwaite, Richard B. 1900-1990

Braudel, Fernand 1902-1985

Bravais, Auguste 1811-1863

Brewster, David 1781-1868  

Bridgman, Percy W. 1882-1961

Broad, Charlie D. 1987-1971

Broglie, Louis de 1892-1987

Broussais, François J.V. 1772-1838

Brouwer, Luitzen E.J. 1881-1966

Brown, Robert 1773-1858  

Brugmans, Sebald Justinus 1763-1819

Brunner, Emil 1889-1966

Bruno, Giordano 1548-1600  

Buber, Martin 1878-1965

Buddha, S.Gautama c.560-c.480 BC.   

Bunge, Mario 1919-

Bunsen, Robert W. 1811-1899

Burckhardt, Jacob 1818-1897

Buridan, Jean c.1295- c.1358

Burtt, Edwin A. 1892-1989

Butterfield, Herbert 1900-1979

Buys-Ballot, Christoph H.D. 1817-1890


Cabeo, Nicolò 1585-1650

Calippus c.370-c.300 BC

Calvin, John (Jean Cauvin) 1509-1564

Campani, Giuseppe 1635-1715

Cantor, Georg F.L.P. 1845–1918

Carathéodory, Constantin 1873-1950

Cardano, Gerolamo (Jerome Cardan). 1501-1576

Carnap, Rudolf 1891-1970

Carnot, N.L.Sadi 1796-1832

Cassini, Giovanni Domenico 1625-1712

Cassirer, Ernst 1874-1945

Cavendish, Henri 1731-1810

Celsius, Anders 1701-1744 

Čerenkov, Pavel A. 1904-1990

Charlemagne 742-814

Charles, Jacques 1746-1823

Chomsky, A.Noam 1928-

Christina, Grand-Duchess of Toscane before 1600-1637

Clapeyron, Benoît P.E. 1799-1864

Clarke, Samuel 1675-1729

Clausius, Rudolf J.E. 1822-1888

Clavius, Christophorus (Klau) 1537-1612

Cleisthenes, c.500 BC 

Clément–Desormes, Nicolas 1779-1842

Colbert, Jean-Baptiste 1619-1683

Columbus, Christopher (Christoforo Colombo) 1451-1506

Compton, Arthur H. 1892-1962

Comte, Auguste 1798-1857

Cooper, Leon N., 1930-

Copernicus, Nicolas (Nicolaus Koppernigk) 1473-1543 

Coriolis, Gaspard G. de 1792-1843

Cotes, Roger 1682-1716

Coulomb, Charles Augustin de 1736-1806

Crick, Francis H.C. 1916-2004

Crookes, William 1832-1919

Cunaeus, Andreas 1712-1788

Curie, Jacques 1855-1941

Curie, Marie 1867-1934

Curie, Pierre 1859-1906

Cusa, Nicholas of 1401-1464

Cusberthson, John 1743-1821 


Dalton, John 1766-1844

Daniell, John F. 1790-1845 

Danto, Arthur C. 1924-2013

Darwin, Charles R. 1809-1882 

Davisson, Clinton J. 1881-1951

Davy, Humphry 1778-1829

Debye, Peter J.W. 1884-1966

Dedekind, Richard 1831-1916

Descartes, René (Cartesius) 1596-1650 

Dietrich of Freiberg c.1240-after1310

Dijksterhuis, Eduard J. 1892-1965

Dilthey, Wilhelm 1833-1911

Dirac, Paul A.M. 1902-1984 

Dobzhansky, Theodosius 1900-1975

Dooyeweerd, Herman 1894-1977

Doppler, Christian J. 1803-1853

Drake, Stillman 1910-1993

Drebbel, Cornelis J. 1572-1633 -

Dreyer, John L.E. 1852-1926

Du Fay (Dufay), Charles F. de Cisternay 1698-1739

Duhem, Pierre M.M. 1861-1916 –

Dulong, Pierre L. 1785-1838


Ehrenhaft, Felix 1879-1952

Eikema Hommes, Hendrik J. van 1930-1984

Einstein, Albert 1879-1955 

Eldredge, Niles 1943-

Elias, Norbert 1897-1990

Empedokles of Agacras c.490-c.430 BC

Erasmus of Rotterdam, Desiderius 1469-1536

Eratosthenes of Cyrene c.284-c.204 BC

Escher, Maurits C. 1898-1972

Euclid of Alexandria c.300 BC 

Eudoxus of Cnidus c.408-c.355 BC

Euler, Leonard 1707-1783


Fabbroni, Giovanni V.M. 1752-1822

Fahrenheit, Gabriel D. 1686-1736

Faraday, Michael 1791-1867

Febvre, Lucien 1878-1956

Fermat, Pierre de 1601-1665

Fermi, Enrico 1901-1954 

Feyerabend, Paul K. 1924-1994

Feynman, Richard 1918-1988

Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa) c. 1170-c.1250

Fitzgerald, George F. 1851-1901

Fizeau, Armand H.L. 1819-1896  

Flamsteed, John 1646-1719

Fleming, John A. 1849-1945

Forest, Lee De 1873-1961

Foscarini, Paolo Antonio 1580-1616

Foucault, Jean B.L. 1819-1868

Foucault, P. Michel 1926-1984 

Fourier, Joseph B. 1768-1830

Fraassen, Bas van 1914

Fracastoro, Girolamo c.1478-1553

Franklin, Benjamin 1706-1790

Fraunhofer, Joseph von 1787-1826 

Frege, F.L. Gottlob 1848-1925

Freiberg, Dietrich von c.1250-c.1310 

Fresnel, Augustin J. 1788-1827

Freud, Sigmund 1856-1939  

Friedman, Milton 1912-2006 

Fruin, Robert 1823-1899


Gadamer, Hans-Georg 1900-2002

Galen (Galenus) of Pergamum 129-early third century

Galilei, Galileo 1564-1642

Galilei, Vincenzo 1520-1591

Galle, Johann G. 1812-1910

Galois, Évariste 1811-1832

Galvani, Luigi A. 1737-1798

Gandhi, Mahatma 1869-1948

Gassendi, Pierre 1592-1655

Gauss, Carl Friedrich 1777-1855

Gay-Lussac, J. Louis 1778-1850

Geiger, Hans W. 1882-1945

Geissler, Heinrich 1815-1879

Gell-Mann, Murray 1929–

Gerard of Cremona c.1114-1187

Germer, Lester H. 1896-1971

Geyl, Pieter C.A. 1887-1966

Gibbon, Edward 1737-1794

Gibbs, Joshua W. 1839-1903 

Gilbert, William 1540-1603

Gödel, Kurt F. 1906-1978

Goethe, Johann W. 1749-1832 

Goldbach, Christian 1690-1764

Goldstein, Eugen 1850-1930

Goodman, Nelson 1906-1998

Gordon, Walter 1893-1939

Gould, Stephen J. 1941-2002

Gray, Stephen c.1666-1736

Green, George 1793-1841

Gregorius XIII, pope since 1572, 1502-1585

Grimaldi, Francesco M. 1618-1663

Groen van Prinsterer, Guillaume 1801-1876

Groot, Hugo de (Grotius) 1583-1645

Groote, Geert 1340-1385

Grosseteste, Robert c.1168-1253

Grünbaum. Adolf 1923-  

Guericke, Otto von 1602-1668

Guiducci, Mario 1585-1646

Guldberg, Cato M. 1836-1902

Gutenberg, Johannes c.1398-1468

Guthrie, William K.C.1906-1981


Habermas, Jürgen 1929-

Hall, Edmund. 1855-1938

Halley, Edmund 1656-1742

Hamilton, William Rowan 1805-1865

Hanson, Norwood R. 1924-1967

Hardy, Godfrey H. 1877-1947

Harriot, Thomas c.1560-1621

Harrison, John 1693-1776

Hart, Herbert L.A.1907-1992

Harvey, William 1578-1657

Hauksbee, Francis 1660-1713

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1899-1992

Heath, Thomas L. 1861-1940

Heaviside, Oliver 1850-1925

Hegel, Georg W.F. 1770-1831

Heidegger, Martin 1889-1976

Heisenberg, Werner K. 1901-1976

Helmholtz, Hermann L.F. von 1821-1894

Helmont, Jan Baptista van 1579-1644

Hempel, Carl G. 1905-1997

Henry, Joseph 1797-1878

Herapath, John 1790-1868

Herder, Johann G. 1744-1803

Hermes Trismegistus c.150 (?)

Herodotus c.484-425 BC

Heron of Alexandria 10-70

Herschel, Caroline L. 1750-1848

Herschel, F. William 1738-1822

Herschel, John F.W. 1792-1871

Hertz, Heinrich Rudolf. 1857-1894

Higgs, Peter 1929-

Hilbert, David 1862-1943

Hipparchus of Rhodes c.190-c.120 BC

Hitler, Adolf 1889-1945

Hittorf, Johann Wilhelm 1824-1914

Hobbes, Thomas 1588-1679

Homerus  c.800-c.750 v.Chr.

Hooke, Robert 1635-1703

Horkheimer, Max 1895-1973

Horrocks, Jeremiah 1618-1641

Huizinga, Johan 1872-1945

Hume, David 1711-1776

Hunayn ben Ishaq 809-873

Huntington, Samuel 1927-2008

Hus, John c.1370-1415 

Huygens, Christiaan 1629-1695 

Huygens, Constantijn 1628-1697


Jacobus II, king of England 1633-1701

Jammer, Max 1915-2010

Jans(s)en, S(Z)acharias c.1580-c.1630

Jaspers, Karl 1883-1969

Jeans, James Hopwood 1877-1946

Jevons, William S. 1835-1882

Jordan, E. Pascual 1902-1980

Jordanus Nemorarius, before 1200-1237

Joule, James Prescott 1818-1889

Julius Caesar 100-44 BC

Justinianus I 482-565


Kant, Immanuel 1724-1804 

Kaufmann, Walter 1871-1947

Kelsen, Hans 1881-1973

Kelvin, see William Thomson

Kempen, van, à Kempis, see Thomas

Kepler, Johannes (Keppler) 1571-1630

Keynes, John M. 1883-1946

King, Martin L. 1929-1968

Kinnersley, Ebenezer 1711-1778

Kirchhoff, Gustav .R. 1824-1887

Klein, Felix 1849-1925

Klein, Martin J. 1924-2009 

Klein, Oskar B. 1894-1977

Kleist, Ewald G.von 1693-1748

Knowles, D. 1896-1974

Koeningsberger, Leo 1837-1921

Koestler, Arthur 1905-1983

Kohlrausch, Rudolf 1809-1858

Kolakowski, Leszek 1927-2009

Koselleck, Reinhart 1923-2006

Koyré, Alexandre 1892-1964

Kramers, Hendrik A. 1894-1952

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1922-1996 

Kurlbaum, Ferdinand 1857-1927

Kuyper, Abraham 1837-1920


Lactantius, Lucius C.F. c.250-320

Lagrange, Joseph-Louis 1736-1813

Lakatos, Imre 1922-1974

Lammers, Cor J. 1928-2009

Langer, Susanne K. 1895-1985

Laplace, Pierre-Simon 1749-1827

Lavoisier, Antoine L. 1743-1794

Leeuwenhoek, Antoni van 1632-1723

Legendre, Adrien-Marie 1752-1833

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm 1646-1716

Lenard, Philipp E.A. 1862-1947

Lenin, Vladimir I. 1870-1924

Lenz, Heinrich F.E. 1804-1865

Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

Leverrier (Le Verrier), Urbain J.J. 1811-1877

Levinas, Emmanuel 1905-1995

Lévi-Strauss, C. 1908-2009

Lewis, Gilbert N. 1875-1946

Linnaeus, Carl 1707-1778

Lippershey, Hans c.1570-1619 

Lissajous, Jules Antoine 1822-1880

Lobachevsky, Nicolai 1792-1856

Locke, John 1632-1704

Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon 1853-1928

Loschmidt, Joseph J. 1821-1895

Louis XIV 1638-1715

Lovejoy, Arthur O. 1873-1962

Luhmann, Niklas 1927-1998

Lummer, Otto R. 1860-1925

Luther, Martin 1483-1546

Lyotard, Jean-François 1924-1998


Mach, Ernst 1838-1916 

MacIntyre, A. 1906-2002

Maestlin, Michael 1550-1631

Mandela, Nelson R. 1918-2013

Mao Zedong 1893-1976

Marcuse, Herbert  1898-1979

Maritain, Jacques 1882-1973

Markov, Andrei A. 1856-1922

Marsden, Ernest 1889-1970

Marx, Karl H. 1818-1883  

Maxwell, James Clerk 1831-1879

Mayer, Julius R.von 1814-1878 

Mekkes, Johan P.A. 1898-1987

Melanchton, Philipp 1497-1560

Mendel, Gregor J. 1822-1884

Mendeleev, Dmitri 1834-1907

Mersenne, Marin 1588-1647  

Merton, Robert K. 1910-2003

Mesmer, Franz A. 1734-1815

Metius, Jacob after 1571-1624/1631

Michelangelo Buonarotti 1475-1564

Michelet, Jules 1798-1874

Michell, John 1724-1793

Michelson, Albert A. 1852-1931

Mill, John S. 1806-1873

Millikan, Robert A. 1868-1953

Mises, Richard von1883-1953

Mössbauer, Rudolf L. 1929-2011

Moivre, Abraham de 1667-1754

Mohammed 570-632

Mohs, C. Friedrich C. 1773-1839

Mondria(a)n, Piet 1872-1944

Montesquieu, Charles L. de S. 1689-1755

Montessori, M. 1870-1952

Montgolfier, J. Étienne 1745-1799

Montgolfier, Joseph M. 1740-1810

Morley, Edward W. 1838-1923

Motte, Andrew 1696-1734

Müller, Johann (Regiomontanus) 1436-1476

Musschenbroek, Petrus van 1692-1761 


Nagel, Ernest 1901-1985

Napoleon I Bonaparte 1769-1821 –

Needham, John 1900-1995

Nernst, Walther H. 1864-1941

Neugebauer, Otto 1899-1990

Neumann, Franz Ernst 1798-1895

Neumann, John von 1903-1957

Newcomen, Thomas 1663-1729

Newton, Isaac 1642-1727

Nietzsche, Friedrich 1844-1900

Nobel, A.B. 1833-1896

Noether, A. Emmy 1882-1935

Nollet, Jean Antoine 1700-1770


Ockham, William of c.1285-1349

Oersted  (Ørsted), Hans Christian 1777-1851

Ohm, Georg S. 1787-1854 –

Onsager, Lars 1903-1976

Oresme, Nicolas d' c.1323-1382  

Orwell, George (E. Blair) 1903-1950

Osiander, Andreas (Hossman) 1498-1552

Ostwald, Friedrich Wilhelm 1853-1932


Pais, Abraham 1918-2000

Papin, Denis 1647-c.1712

Parmenides of Elea c.500 BC

Parsons, Talcott 1902-1979

Partington, James R. 1886-1965

Pascal, Blaise 1623-1662

Paschen, Friedrich 1865-1947

Paul V, pope since 1605, 1552-1621

Pauli, Wolfgang 1900-1958

Peano, Giuseppe 1858-1932

Peierls, Rudolf 1907-1995

Peltier, Jean C.A. 1785-1845 –

Peregrinus, Peter (Pierre de Maricourt) c.1270

Pericles c.494-429 v.Chr. 

Périer, Florin c.1640

Perrin, Jean B. 1870-1942 

Petit, Alexis T. 1791-1820

Petrarch, Francesco (Petrarca) 1304-1374

Peurbach, Georg 1423-1461

Pippard, A. Brian 1920-2008

Pius XI , pope since 1922, 1857-1939

Planck, Max 1858-1947

Plato(on) c.427-c.347 BC 

Plotinus c.204-270

Plücker, Julius 1801-1868

Plutarch(us) c.46-after 120

Poggendorff, Johann C.1796-1877

Poincaré, J. Henri 1854-1912 

Poisson, Siméon D. 1781-1840

Polanyi, Michael 1891-1976

Popper, Karl R. 1902-1994

Porta, Giambattista B. della 1535-1615

Priestley, Joseph 1733-1804

Prigogine, Ilya 1917-2003

Pringsheim, Ernst 1859-1917

Prinsterer, see Groen van Prinsterer.

Ptolemy of Alexandria, Claudius (Klaudios Ptolemaios) 87-after 150

Putnam, Hilary W. 1926-

Pythagoras of Samos c.560-c.480 BC


Quine, W.V.Orman 1908-2000


Ramus, Petrus (Pierre de la Ramée) 1515-1572

Ranke, Leopold  von 1795-1886

Rankine, William J.M. 1820-1872

Rawls, John  1921-2002

Ray, John 1627-1705

Rayleigh, John W. (Strutt) 1842-1919

Regiomontanus, see Müller

Reichenbach, Hans 1891-1953

Reinhold, Erasmus 1511-1553

Reve, Karel van het  1921-1999

Rheticus, Georg Joachim (Lauchen) 1514-1576

Ricardo, David 1772-1823

Riccioli, Giovanni B. 1598-1671

Richer, Jean c.1630-1696

Richter, Charles F. 1900-1985

Riemann, Bernhard 1826-1866

Ritter, Johann W. 1776-1810

Rohault, Jacques 1620-1675

Romein, Annie H.M. 1895-1978

Romein, Jan M. 1893-1962

Rømer, Ole 1644-1710

Röntgen, Wilhelm C.1845-1923

Rosen, Edward 1906-1985

Rosenfeld, Léon 1904-1974

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1712-1778

Rowland, Henry A. 1848-1901

Rubens, Heinrich L. 1865-1922

Rudolph II of Habsburg 1552-1612

Ruhmkorff, Heinrich D. 1803-1877

Rumford, Benjamin (Thompson) 1753-1814

Ruppert, Maarten 1911-1992

Russell, Bertrand A.W. 1872-1970

Rutherford, Ernest 1871-1937  


Sagredo, Giofrancesco 1571-1620

Salam, Abdus 1926-1998

Salviati, Filippo 1582-1614

Sandeman, Robert 1718-1771

Saussure, F. de 1857-1913

Savart, Félix 1791-1841

Scheiner, Christoph 1573-1650 

Scheler, M. 1874-1928

Schelling, Friedrich W.J. von 1775-1854

Schiller, J.C.F. von 1759-1805

Schlick, Moritz 1882-1936

Schmitt, C. 1888-1985

Schrieffer, John R. 1931-

Schrödinger, Erwin 1887-1961

Schuster, Arthur 1851-1934

Schweigger, Johann 1777-1857

Schwinger, Julian S. 1918-1994

Seebeck, Thomas J. 1770-1831

Shakespeare, William 1564-1616

Simons, Menno 1496-1561

Simplicius (Simplicio) c.500-after 533

Skinner, Burrhus F. 1904-1990

Slater, John C. 1900-1976

Smit, Meijer C. 1911-1981

Smith, Adam 1723-1790

Smoluchowski, Marian 1872-1917

Snel(lius) van Royen, Willebrord 1580-1626

Socrates of Athens c.470-399 BC

Soddy, Frederick 1877-1956

Sommerfeld, Arnold J.W. 1868-1951

Sophocles c.496-c 405 BC

Sorokin, Pitirim A. 1889-1968

Spencer, Herbert 1820-1903

Spengler, Oswald 1880-1936

Spinoza, Baruch de1632-1677

Staal, Frits 1930-2012

Stahl, Georg  E. 1660-1734

Stalin, Joseph V. 1879-1953

Stebbins, G. Ledyard 1906-2000

Stefan, Josef 1835-1893

Stevin, Simon 1548-1620

Stoney, George J. 1826-1911

Sturgeon, William 1783-1850

Swammerdam, Jan 1637-1680


Tait, Peter G. 1831-1901

Tarski, Alfred 1901-1983

Tartaglia, Nicolo c.1505-1557

Taylor, Brook 1685-1731

Taylor, Frederic Winslow 1856-1915

Tempier, Stephen c.1270

Teyler van der Hulst, Pieter 1702-1778

Thomas à Kempis c.1380-1471

Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274

Thomson, George P. 1892-1975

Thomson, Joseph J. 1852-1940

Thomson, William (Kelvin) 1824-1907

Thucydides c.460-c.395 BC

Titius, Johann D. 1729-1796 

Tocqueville, Alexis de 1805-1859

Tolkien, John R.R. 1892-1973

Tomonaga, Sin-Itiro 1906-1991

Tönnies, Ferdinand 1855-1936

Torricelli, Evangelista 1608-1647

Toulmin, Stephen 1922-2009

Toynbee, Arnold J. 1889-1975

Trismegistus, see Hermes

Troost, André 1916-2008

Truesdell, Clifford A. 1919-2000

Tycho, see Brahe


Uhlenbeck, George 1900-1988

Urban VIII, see Barberini

Ursus, see Bär


Varley, Cromwell  F. 1828-1883

Vesalius, Andreas (Andries van Wesel) 1515-1564

Vigier, Jean-Pierre 1920-2004

Vinci, Leonardo da 1452-1519

Vollenhoven, Dirk H.Th. 1892-1978

Volta, Alessandro G.A. 1745-1827

Voltaire, François-Marie (Arouet) 1694-1778


Waage, Peter 1833-1900

Waals, Johannes D. van der 1837-1923

Wallace, Alfred Russel 1823-1913

Wallis, John 1616-1703

Walsh, John 1726-1795

Warburg, Emil G. 1846-1931

Waterston, John James 1811-1883

Watson, James 1928-

Watt, James 1736-1819

Weber, Max 1864-1920

Weber, Wilhelm E. 1804-1891

Weinberg, Steven 1933-

Weinberg, Wilhelm 1862-1937

Welser, Mark 1558-1614

Weyl, Hermann 1885-1955

Wheatstone, Charles 1802-1875 

Whewell, William 1794-1866

White, Hayden 1928-

Wien, Wilhelm 1864-1928

Wilcke, John Carl 1732-1796

Willem I de Zwijger (William the Silent) 1533-1584

Willem III 1650-1702

William of Ockham ca. 1285-1349

William of Moerbeke c.1220-1286

Williamson, Alexander 1824-1904

Witelo (Vitello, Vitellius), Erazmus C. c.1230-c.1275

Wittgenstein, Ludwig J.J. 1889-1951

Wollaston, William H. 1766-1828

Wren, Christopher 1632-1723

Wyclif, John c.1328-1384


Young, Thomas 1773-1829


Zeeman, Pieter 1856-1943

Zeno(on) of Elea c.490-c.425 BC 

Zermelo, Ernst F.F. 1871-1953

Ziman, John M. 1925-2005

Zwingli, Huldrich 1484-1531