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Historical Dictionary of Leibniz's Philosophy by Stuart Brown, N. J. Fox

By Stuart Brown, N. J. Fox

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) used to be one of many first glossy philosophers, and as such, probably the most major. His contributions have been frequently pathbreaking and his imprint nonetheless is still on fields similar to common sense, arithmetic, technological know-how, overseas legislations, and ethics. whereas publishing really little in the course of his existence, he used to be in usual correspondence with vital philosophers or even political leaders.The old Dictionary of Leibniz's Philosophy sheds gentle not just on his philosophical notion but additionally the influence it had at the taking into consideration his contemporaries. They, and he, are defined in several cross-referenced dictionary entries. additionally incorporated are different entries that current his writings, clarify his suggestions, and hint his motion in particular fields. The advent sums a lot of this up and—along with the bibliography—provides a powerful beginning for additional examine.

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Petersburg. In Vienna he was made an imperial councilor. With Tsar Peter the Great he had a number of audiences between 1711 and 1716. One of the tasks assigned him by the tsar was a reform of the law and of the administration of justice in Russia. Toward the end of his life, Leibniz sought to widen his audience beyond that of his immediate scholarly correspondents. To this end he wrote the Principles of Nature and Grace, Founded on Reason and the Monadology and sought the aid of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Nicolas Remond, in Vienna and Paris, to help spread his philosophy.

Since matter is infinitely divisible, the transfer of motion by mechanical collision is impossible. Therefore change, motion, must be a property of substance, which is effected not by an extrinsic influence but by an intrinsic one: an internal active force. This idea coincides with the conception of substance that emerged from Leibniz’s considerations on language, logic, and truth: that a substance is only individuated (from all other similar possible ones) by virtue of all the properties that will ever belong to it.

Leibniz personally knew two of the most important promoters of Christian Kabbalah in the 17th century—Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (1636–1689) and Francis Mercury van Helmont (1614–1698). Though Leibniz did not believe in the prisca theologia premise, he did share their goal of religious harmony, and many of the Neoplatonic cosmological concepts in their writings are to be found in Leibniz’s own philosophy. What is particularly noteworthy is Leibniz’s secret collaboration with van Helmont on the latter’s Thoughts on Genesis, a metaphysical commentary on the first four chapters of Genesis.

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