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Leibniz gives an argument for P3 , which is reformulated as follows. P3a One part of matter is distinguished from another by means of an extrinsic denomination. P3c If P3b , then it is not the case that there is an extrinsic denomination. P3d It is not the case that there is an extrinsic denomination. P3e If P3d , then it is not the case that one part of matter is distinguished from another. C2 It is not the case that one part of matter is distinguished from another.

Leibniz also argues against shape, instead of motion, being the criterion for distinguishing one piece of matter from another. According to Leibniz, a uniform mass of matter, which is infinite i. Shape, however, entails a boundary.

Leibniz’s Philosophy Summary

For that reason, the Cartesians cannot construe a uniform mass of matter as having shape; and hence, shape cannot be a means for distinguishing one piece of matter from another. Nov 27, David Haines rated it it was amazing. It is a lot of fun reading Leibniz.

He defines his terms well, and is very clear when he speak. His humility and desire to seek truth are evident in the way he writes. This book is well worth the time it takes to not just read it, but examine it and work to understand his philosophy. View all 5 comments. Feb 25, Jibran rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy. Jul 10, Anna rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy , essays. All hail the monad! Dec 16, Zach Mazlish rated it liked it. Going to read his responses to Locke and Berkeley after I read them, but read pretty much all the other sections other than skimming some of the more purely physics parts.

I found his thoughts on free will hard to parse but they seemed possibly more sophisticated and compelling than pretty much anyone else I've encountered. Also some interesting reflections on the origins of creation which I thought were interesting even if not apparently applicable. His breadth and rigor of thought is amazing, but I enjoyed him less than others because he is a bit denser more purely mathematical , didn't have as fun a moral vision as Spinoza or as sensible a metaphysics in my opinion , and while I agree with many of his critiques of Descartes I enjoyed Descartes' writing about philosophy more and could more easily see its historical significance.

If there is only one book on philosophy to read, this is it. If there was one Genius in the world it was Leibniz. No one ever had the imagination to explain the world. To give just one example. Everyone knows that he said that this is the best of possible worlds. And most people have trouble believing it. But it is not that he looked around and found everything pleasing but he had logical reasons to come to the conclusion.

God could not have created a world without a sufficient reason. Therefor If there is only one book on philosophy to read, this is it. Therefore this must be the one that stands out. And he had to pick it!

Leibniz: Philosophical Essays

Jun 05, Nick rated it it was ok. It was alright back in college.


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It never gelled with me due to his abundant optimism and faith in the unknown reaches of the world's "design. Perhaps reading Voltaire's "Candide" prior has skewed my view If only he'd met Nietzsche. Jul 23, Ashley rated it it was ok. Mar 07, James rated it liked it. Faced with the laws of Newton and the strength of his religious perspective, Leibniz's philosophical writings, taken collectively, constitute a comprehensive attempt to interpret reality in a systematic, consistent and credible way. There's an underlying harmony to the world.

Philosophical Essays - Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von Leibniz - Google Libri

Man and animal are pre-formed, individualized units monads of this overall perfection, filled with its energy and expressing its purpose. Both animal and man have soul but only man has a rational soul and is able to under Faced with the laws of Newton and the strength of his religious perspective, Leibniz's philosophical writings, taken collectively, constitute a comprehensive attempt to interpret reality in a systematic, consistent and credible way.

Both animal and man have soul but only man has a rational soul and is able to understand, appreciate and reflect the world's underlying perfection. God is the pervasive presence throughout the world and is the pervasive presence in Leibniz's philosophy.

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God is the final cause that draws the whole world onto Himself so that everything fits together and has a place, even evil leads to a higher good. It is quite a system that Leibniz has constructed and, reflective of his time, it perhaps seemed reasonable enough. Pull God from the capstone position, however, and Leibniz's thought is philosophical and scientific theology. Substitute Schopehauer's Will Energy or Darwin's evolution for Leibniz's God, and much of Leibniz's harmonious worldview would rest on a firmer foundation except that, rather than a pre-established harmony, such perfection would be and is continuously created through godless force and counter force acting on and reacting to each other, providing ever changing states of equilibrium from states of disequilibrium.


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Oct 06, Amanda L rated it really liked it Shelves: our-collection-need-more-shelves , yay-science , philosophy-once , college-reads , to-read-again. With his science being uncannily similar to Newton's Principia, his philosophy renders a more cohesive picture, as his convention s do not contradict definitions and the findings of modern science with any statement s regarding atoms [falsely] being deemed the smallest indivisible unit of matter.

Both Newton and Leibniz independently and simultaneously developed multi-variate calculus, but that Leibniz is rarely given due credit is unnerving. His notation has even proved better, as it is certa With his science being uncannily similar to Newton's Principia, his philosophy renders a more cohesive picture, as his convention s do not contradict definitions and the findings of modern science with any statement s regarding atoms [falsely] being deemed the smallest indivisible unit of matter.

His notation has even proved better, as it is certainly the preferred convention for sophisticated computation. This work evolves as a series of written letters between Leibniz and a female! Newtonian apologist. For that it is also a historical snapshot. Most of his letters take on an essay form.

Who Was Gottfried Von Leibniz? (Famous Philosophers)

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Apr 10, Manny marked it as to-read. View all 46 comments. Nov 27, Erik rated it it was amazing. The most intelligent biped who ever lived was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. His philosophy was impenetrable to me for years and years, but I stuck with it, considering that the guy knew no math and then, in a few short years in Paris, arrived at the calculus independent of Newton. Who else could get work done in Paris? Leibniz's philosophy of the monadology, the specimen dynamicum, the program for a metaphysical foundation for physics, the characteristica universalis, geometric algebra, the analysi The most intelligent biped who ever lived was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

Leibniz's philosophy of the monadology, the specimen dynamicum, the program for a metaphysical foundation for physics, the characteristica universalis, geometric algebra, the analysis situs, the Leibniz-Clarke controversy, all of these things were premonitions of the course science and philosophy actually took and has still to take. The foresight is humbling and awe inspiring to me. View 1 comment. May 11, IWB rated it really liked it Shelves: early-modern-philosophy. This is a collection of the important shorter works of Leibniz's philosophical corpus, which are edited and translated by Garber and Ariew.

Some of the more important works featured in this collection are the "Monadology," and "Discourse on Metaphysics," and "On Nature Itself". So some of the works concern Leibniz's theoretical physics and theology, not just philosophy proper [whatever that is:] Additionally included are some of Leibniz's correspondence letters, which serve to further buttress This is a collection of the important shorter works of Leibniz's philosophical corpus, which are edited and translated by Garber and Ariew.

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So some of the works concern Leibniz's theoretical physics and theology, not just philosophy proper [whatever that is:] Additionally included are some of Leibniz's correspondence letters, which serve to further buttress the arguments of certain essays. There is a short preface to each essay or letter in which the editor's provide relevant contextual information; moreover, the editors provide footnotes of relevent historical and philosophical, and terminological points that bring out various nuances that might otherwise have been missed entirely.

This work is intended to be a reference work--it's not meant to be read from page one to the end; rather, it is ideal for research, classroom instruction, or for on the go reading when you just need a quick Leibniz fix in a portable format. As an introduction to Leibniz' thought, it's hard to go wrong with this edition. While using this book in a grad seminar, it was brought to my attention that there are some questionable aspects to the translation.