Burchard de Volder

Burchard de Volder (26 July 1643 – 21 March 1709) was a Dutch natural philosopher.

Burchard de Volder
Born26 July 1643
Died21 March 1709 (1709-03-22) (aged 65)
Leiden, Dutch Republic
Alma materUniversity of Leiden
University of Utrecht
Scientific career
FieldsNatural philosopher
InstitutionsUniversity of Leiden
Doctoral advisorFranciscus Sylvius
Johannes de Bruyn
Doctoral studentsHerman Boerhaave

Born in a Mennonite family in Amsterdam, he first studied in Utrecht (1660) and from 1670 he studied philosophy at the University of Leiden under Franz (Franciscus Sylvius) de le Boë (Dubois), completing a dissertation in 1664.[1] Thanks to the efforts of the Volder, a physics laboratory at the University of Leiden was established in 1675. He collected measuring instruments of all kinds and performed many physics demonstrations, particularly those illustrating the discoveries of Robert Boyle. This laboratory was unique for its time. He is further famous as one of Gottfried Leibniz's most important philosophical correspondents.[2][3]

De Volder's work drew many foreign students. One of his most famous students was Herman Boerhaave.


  1. ^ Burchard de Volder (1664). "De natura" (PDF).
  2. ^ Paul Lodge Leibniz's Close Encounter with Cartesiansim in the Correspondence with De Volder, in Leibniz and His Correspondents Cambridge University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-521-83410-4, pp 162-192
  3. ^ The Leibniz-De Volder Correspondence, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013

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