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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716)

Author of Philosophical Essays

367+ Works 4,266 Members 32 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, one of the last real polymaths, was born in Leipzig. Educated there and at the Universities at Jena and Altdorf, he then served as a diplomat for the Elector of Mainz and was sent to Paris, where he lived for a few years and came into contact with leading scientists, show more philosophers, and theologians. During a trip to England, he was elected to the Royal Society; he made a visit to Holland to meet Spinoza. Back in Germany he became librarian to the Duke of Brunswick, whose library was the largest in Europe outside the Vatican. From there he became involved in government affairs in Hanover and later settled in Berlin at the court of Queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia. Leibniz was involved in the diplomatic negotiations that led to the Hanoverian succession to the English throne. From his university days he showed an interest in mathematics, logic, physics, law, linguistics, and history, as well as theology and practical political affairs. He discovered calculus independently of Newton and had a protracted squabble about which of them should be given credit for the achievement. The developer of much of what is now modern logic, he discovered some important physical laws and offered a physical theory that is close to some twentieth-century conceptions. Leibniz was interested in developing a universal language and tried to master the elements of all languages. Leibniz corresponded widely with scholars all over Europe and with some Jesuit missionaries in China. His philosophy was largely worked out in answer to those of other thinkers, such as Locke, Malebranche, Bayle, and Arnauld. Although he published comparatively little during his lifetime, Leibniz left an enormous mass of unpublished papers, drafts of works, and notes on topics of interest. His library, which has been preserved, contains annotations, analyses, and often refutations of works he read. The project of publishing all of his writings, undertaken in the 1920s by the Prussian Academy, was delayed by World War II but was resumed thereafter. It is not likely that the project will be completed in the twentieth century. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Painting by Bernhard Christoph Francke (ca. 1700)

Works by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Philosophical Essays (1989) 503 copies
Discourse on Metaphysics (1953) 213 copies
Monadology (1714) — Author — 203 copies
Philosophical Writings (1965) 193 copies
Leibniz Selections (1951) 163 copies
Leibniz: Political Writings (1972) 74 copies
Writings on China (2006) 38 copies
Leibniz (1996) 19 copies
Filosofisia tutkielmia (2011) 17 copies
Protogaea (2008) 16 copies
Logical Papers (1966) 11 copies
L'harmonie des langues (1995) 10 copies
Filosofía para princesas (2007) 10 copies
Escritos filosóficos (2004) 8 copies
Antología (1997) — Author — 6 copies
Correspondance (2016) 5 copies
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (2011) 5 copies
Valda skrifter (1990) 4 copies
Le droit de la raison (1994) 4 copies
Valitud kirjad ja tööd (2020) 4 copies
Scritti di logica (1992) 4 copies
Análisis infinitesimal (1987) 3 copies
Discurso de metafísica (2004) 3 copies
Leibniz (2000) 3 copies
Die Hauptwerke (1949) 3 copies
Auswahl aus seinen Werken (1958) — Author — 3 copies
Tres textos metafísicos (1993) 3 copies
William G Leibniz (1984) 2 copies
Briefwechsel (2017) 2 copies
Brennpunkt: Matrix. (2002) 2 copies
Caracteristique geometrique (1995) — Author — 2 copies
Theodicee (2009) 2 copies
METAFÍSICA. (2010) 2 copies
Escritos de dinámica (1991) 2 copies
Escritos cientA­ficos (2013) 2 copies
A System of Theology (1850) 2 copies
Werke 1 copy
Protogaea 1 copy
Escritos políticos (1985) 1 copy
Selections 1 copy
Escritos políticos (1979) 1 copy
Politische Schriften — Author — 1 copy
1686 - 1694 (2009) 1 copy
Leibniz 1 copy
EL ESTILO FILOSOFICO (1993) 1 copy
Gottfried Leibniz (2022) 1 copy

Associated Works

The European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche (1960) — Contributor — 434 copies
Western Philosophy: An Anthology (1996) — Author, some editions — 183 copies
Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology (2004) — Contributor — 73 copies
Wijsgerige teksten over de wereld (1964) — Contributor — 2 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Birthdate
1646-07-01
Date of death
1716-11-14
Burial location
Neustädter Hof- und Stadtkirche St. Johannis, Hanover, Germany
Gender
male
Nationality
Germany
Birthplace
Leipzig, Germany
Place of death
Hanover, Germany
Places of residence
Hanover, Germany
Paris, France
Nuremberg, Germany
Education
University of Leipzig
University of Altdorf
Occupations
mathematician
philosopher
Relationships
Pufendorf, Samuel (intellectual adversary)
Awards and honors
Royal Society (Fellow, 1673)
Short biography
Leibniz, one of the great contributors to the Age of Enlightenment, wanted to collate all human knowledge -- but was unable to do so.  However, among his many accomplishments, he developed the present day notation for differential and integral calculus, and the binary number system at the basis of digital computers.  He was one of the 17th century's great advocates of rationalism along with Descartes and Spinoza.  A prolific writer on a vast array of subjects, Leibnitz left behind at his death tens of thousands of letters and unpublished manuscripts. 

Members

Reviews

selected writings
 
Flagged
SrMaryLea | Aug 22, 2023 |
(o Goodreads simplesmente apagou minha resenha anterior, reescrevo-a meio sem paciência). Leibniz e Clarke trocam cartas, mas é um diálogo de surdos que, embora com bons argumentos e complicando suas respostas a cada vez, retrucam um ao outro, sem possível entendimento onde nenhum quer arredar o pé. Em geral, embora mais dogmático e pitoresco (pensem na doutrina da harmonia pré-estabelecida), simpatizo mais com Leibniz e o considero mais arguto. Exceto nas questões físicas (especialmente quanto à gravidade), em que ele realmente parece errado e Clarke o corrige copiosamente.

De modo que Leibniz introduz o princípio de razão suficiente (PRS - há razão para tudo), que Clarke aceita, mas o lê de modo forte, derivando o princípio do melhor (Deus sempre escolhe o melhor) e dele a identidade dos indiscerníveis. Essa identidade é interessante: não há a possibilidade de que duas coisas sejam exatamente iguais, porque daí não haveria motivo para preferir uma à outra na ordem da criação divina. E como Leibniz tem uma concepção cartesiana da liberdade, não é possível agir sem motivos, pois a indiferença se confundiria com o caos epicurista, com o destino do irracional. Assim, o melhor dos mundos envolve que noções abstratas de espaço e tempo sejam abstrações e não realidades (como Clarke e Newton querem, de um Deus que constitui espaço-tempo como quantidades subjacentes às coisas), pois se existissem, seriam uniformes, e não permitiriam o melhor motivo quanto à colocação de algo na posição absoluta deste. De mesmo modo, átomos não existem, porque coisas idênticas levam à mesma indiferença, e Deus se atêm no melhor mesmo nos literalmente infinitos detalhes. (Curiosamente a teoria de Newton, mais próxima ao nosso senso comum atual, enfrenta dificuldades ao admitir que é impraticável pensar em movimentos absolutos; e no apêndice sugere que as estrelas fixas são seguradas no lugar contra a gravitação por milagres divinos...)

Quando na quinta resposta Clarke perde de vez a compostura e declara que Leibniz faz petições de princípio, tipicamente não-filosóficas, o filósofo alemão não retruca surdamente mais uma vez, pois falece logo em seguida.
… (more)
 
Flagged
henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
Leibniz is an uneven reading experience for me. His principle of sufficient reason, effusive piety, and faith in compossibility are unfashionable at the least. His long digressions into subtle epistemological distinctions are completely uninteresting to me. BUT, Leibniz's exposition of the nature of monads is absolutely fascinating. Getting a view of this beautiful, multi-faceted concept was totally worth skipping around all the other stuff I found to be chaff.
 
Flagged
schumacherrr | 1 other review | Feb 21, 2022 |

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