Ignorantia inflat Leibniz, Huet, and the Critique of the Cartesian Spirit

The Leibniz Review 23:13-42 (2013)

This article explores the relations between Leibniz and the French erudite Pierre-Daniel Huet in the context of their shared anti-Cartesianism. After an introductory survey of the available commentaries and primary texts, I focus on a publication by Leibniz in the Journal des sçavans from 1693, where he fully endorses the critique of Descartes developed by Huet in his 1689 Censura philosophiae cartesianae. Next, I provide some indications as to Leibniz’s motivations behind this public approval of Huet. First, I show how Leibniz throughout the 1690s was attempting to have his 1692 Animadversiones in partem generalem Principiorum Cartesianorum and other anti-Cartesian items annexed to a reedition of Huet’s Censura. I finally show how these attempts to team up with Huet were prompted by Leibniz’s dislike of certain German Cartesians, in particular J. E. Schweling, and by his fear that orthodox Cartesianism might do irremediable damage to the intellectual ethics of the Republic of Letters
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DOI 10.5840/leibniz2013233
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