Leibniz's New Essays: The Remnant-Bennett Version

Locke Studies 25 (1994)
Abstract
In his New Essays on Human Understanding, Leibniz presents an extended critical commentary on Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Leibniz read some of Locke’s work in English and then, a few years later, the whole of it in French, a language in which he was more comfortable. Over a period of about two further years, on and off, he wrote his New Essays, which he finished at about the time Locke died and which was not published until about half a century after Leibniz’s death. (He left them unpublished partly because they had been motivated by a hope of getting Locke to reply, and Locke’s death put an end to that; though his character made it a forlorn hope in any case.) The New Essays has been an important work: for one thing, Kant read it on its first appearance, and scholars say that this was a decisive event in his philosophical development. Anyway, given that this is one of Leibniz’s only two philosophical works of substantial book length, in all the torrent that poured from his pen, and given also that it is focused - critically but with respect and careful attentiveness - on the greatest classic of English philosophy, it is surprising that the New Essays had to wait until 1981 for a usable English translation.1 In 1896 there was published a sort of translation by A. G. Langley;2 but it is inaccurate far beyond the bounds of normal incompetence, as well as being grimly unreadable for stylistic reasons. As Chesterton once said about The Origin of Species, it is surprising how many people think they have read it, but I'll bet that nobody alive has slogged through the Langley version from cover to cover. It is a pity that the work was not decently available in English for nearly three centuries, because even for those who can read the French of, say, Descartes, Leibniz’s French is difficult. He reserved his native German for writings on history and politics, using French and Latin for philosophy and mathematics; presumably French was chosen for the New Essays because Leibniz wanted to respond to a popular work by a popular work..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,162
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1972 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Leibniz: Nature and Freedom.Rutherford Donald & J. A. Cover (eds.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Leibniz and Locke and the Debate Over Species.Jan-Erik Jones - 2006 - In François Duchesneau & Jérémie Girard (eds.), Leibniz selon les Nouxeaux Essais sur l'entendement Humain. Vrin & Bellarmin.
On Estimating the Uncertain.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - 2004 - The Leibniz Review 14:43-53.
Leibniz and Locke. A Study of the "New Essays on Human Understanding".G. A. J. Rogers - 1986 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 24 (4):556-558.
Kant's Critique of the Leibnizian Philosophy : Contra the Leibnizians, but Pro Leibniz.Anja Jauernig - 2008 - In Daniel Garber & Béatrice Longuenesse (eds.), Kant and the Early Moderns. Princeton University Press. pp. 41-63.
Leibniz.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1972 - Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Books.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

42 ( #120,226 of 2,152,250 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #226,015 of 2,152,250 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums