G. W. Leibniz: Le meilleur des mondes par la balance de l’Europe [Book Review]

The Leibniz Review 6:127-131 (1996)

Patrick Thomas Riley
Harvard University
For forty years all Leibniz-scholars have been deeply indebted to André Robinet, who is incontrovertibly the most important French Leibniz-interpreter since the much-lamented Gaston Grua. Indeed it was in the very year of Grua’s premature death that Robinet began four decades of Leibniz-illumination with his magisterial Malebranche et Leibniz: Rélations personnelles. The year 1962 saw the arrival of Robinet’s splendid edition of Leibniz’ Nouveaux Essais—as Volume VI, vi of the great Academy Edition of the Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe. Further important Leibniz-scholarship marked Robinet’s activity over the next quarter-century, culminating in two remarkable books from the 1980s: Architectonique disjonctive, automates systémiques et idéalité transcendentales dans l’oeuvre de Leibniz, the most penetrating general overview of Leibniz’ philosophy produced in recent decades, and G.W. Leibniz, Iter Italicum, La dynamique de la République des lettres, in which Leibniz’ many Italian concerns and rapports are brought out with astonishing thoroughness. This last book was an elaborated outgrowth of Robinet’s contribution to the 1980 Leibniz conference at Ferrara, “Leibniz as Historian”— the conference at which the present reviewer first met Professor Robinet, and learned that he is as formidably learned and eloquently persuasive in person as he is on the printed page. And that remains true to the present day: Robinet’s contribution to the celebration of Leibniz’ 350th birthday at the Berlin-Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften was as masterly as ever, and was reported as such by a special article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1524-1556
DOI 10.5840/leibniz199667
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