The Leibniz Review 15:169-181 (2005)

This book is a collection of essays published by the author in the long run of about 20 years and is centered on the reconstruction of Leibniz’s logical calculi. All the essays have been revised for the present edition and some of them constituted the background for Lenzen’s first monograph on Leibniz’s logic. A feature common to all these essays is the vindication of the relevance and originality of Leibniz’s logical achievements. Lenzen manifests strong dissatisfaction with the evaluations of Leibniz’s logic previously offered by interpreters like Louis Couturat, Clarence I. Lewis, Karl Dürr, William and Martha Kneale, and states that till now Leibniz’s results in the field of logic have been widely underestimated. The book contains a careful and detailed examination of almost all Leibniz’s papers on the logical calculus and it is based on the knowledge of a wide range of texts unknown to previous interpreters. Lenzen’s acquaintance with the entire corpus of Leibniz’s logical texts is impressive. Some chapters of the book in particular contain very solid and useful logical analyses. Chapter 7, for instance, includes the most profound account of Leibniz’s theory of negation I ever read. Chapter 8 presents in a very clear way Leibniz’s attempt to reduce traditional syllogistic to a calculus based on logical inclusion between terms. Chapter 14 is devoted to Leibniz’s a priori proof of the existence of God and presents the first edition of an important manuscript on the proof. On chapters 3 and 5 a series of convincing reasons are given to argue that Leibniz’s concept of ens does not have to be considered a constant in the logical calculus. In brief: this work discusses a wide range of topics in such a clear and learned way that it will surely become a reference book for scholars interested in the study of Leibniz’s logical papers in the forthcoming years.
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 1524-1556
DOI leibniz20051510
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