The epistemological rupture of Copernicus, the laws of planetary motions of Kepler, the comprehensive physical observations of Galileo and Huygens, the conception of relativity, and the physical theory of Newton were components of an extremely fertile and influential cognitive environment that prompted the restless Leibniz to shape an innovative theory of space and time. This theory expressed some of the concerns and intuitions of the scientific community of the seventeenth century, in particular the scientific group of the Academy of Sciences of Paris, but remained relatively unknown until the twentieth century. After Einstein, however, the relational theory of Leibniz gained wider respect and fame. The aim of this article is to explain how Leibniz foresaw relativity, through his critique of contemporary mechanistic philosophy.
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