David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) was one of the great thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is known as the last “universal genius”. He made deep and important contributions to the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history. Even the eighteenth century French atheist and materialist Denis Diderot, whose views could not have stood in greater opposition to those of Leibniz, could not help being awed by his achievement, writing in his Encyclopedia, “Perhaps never has a man read as much, studied as much, meditated more, and written more than Leibniz… What he has composed on the world, God, nature, and the soul is of the most sublime eloquence. If his ideas had been expressed with the flair of Plato, the philosopher of Leipzig would cede nothing to the philosopher of Athens.” (Vol. 9, p. 379) Indeed, Diderot's mood was almost despairing in a remark from another piece, which also has a great deal of truth in it: “When one compares the talents one has with those of a Leibniz, one is tempted to throw away one's books and go die quietly in the dark of some forgotten corner.” More than a century later, Gottlob Frege, who fortunately did not cast his books away in despair, expressed similar admiration, declaring that “in his writings, Leibniz threw out such a profusion of seeds of ideas that in this respect he is virtually in a class of his own.” (“Boole's logical Calculus and the Concept script” in Posthumous Writings , p. 9) The aim of this entry is primarily to introduce Leibniz's life and summarize and explicate his views in the realms of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical theology, and natural philosophy.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Donald Rutherford (1995). Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
R. S. Woolhouse & Richard Francks (eds.) (1997). Leibniz's 'New System' and Associated Contemporary Texts. Oxford University Press.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (2006). The Shorter Leibniz Texts: A Collection of New Translations. Continuum.
Douglas Burnham, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Metaphysics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Klaus-Dieter Herbst (1994). Zum Briefwechsel zwischen Gottfried Kirch und Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz. NTM International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine 2 (1):217-228.
Nicholas Jolley (ed.) (1995). The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz. Cambridge University Press.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1988). Leibniz: Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
Robert Merrihew Adams (1994). Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads44 ( #75,821 of 1,725,422 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #48,686 of 1,725,422 )
How can I increase my downloads?