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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

f the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. He also called on publishers to distribute abstracts of all new titles they produced each year, in a standard form that would facilitate indexing. He hoped that this abstracting project would eventually include everything printed from his day back to Gutenberg. Neither proposal met with success at the time, but something like them became standard practice among English language publishers during the 20th century, under the aegis of the Library of Congress and the British Library.

He called for the creation of an empirical database as a way to further all sciences. His characteristica universalis, calculus ratiocinator, and a "community of minds"—intended, among other things, to bring political and religious unity to Europe—can be seen as distant unwitting anticipations of artificial languages (e.g., Esperanto and its rivals), symbolic logic, even the World Wide Web.

Advocate of scientific societies

Leibniz emphasized that research was a collaborative endeavor. Hence he warmly advocated the formation of national scientific societies along the lines of the British Royal Society and the French Academie Royale des Sciences. More specifically, in his correspondence and travels he urged the creation of such societies in Dresden, Saint Petersburg, Vienna, and Berlin. Only one such project came to fruition; in 1700, the Berlin Academy of Sciences was created. Leibniz drew up its first statutes, and served as its first President for the remainder of his life. That Academy evolved into the German Academy of Sciences, the publisher of the ongoing critical edition of his works.[80]

Lawyer, moralist

With the possible exception of Marcus Aurelius, no philosopher has ever had as much experience with practical affairs of state as Leibniz. Leibniz's writings on law, ethics, and politics[81] were long overlooked by English-speaking scholars, but this has changed of late.[82]

While Leibniz was no apologist for absolute monarchy like Hobbes, or for tyranny in any form, neither did he echo the political and constitutional views of his contemporary John Locke, views invoked in support of democracy, in 18th-century America and later elsewhere. The following excerpt from a 1695 letter to Baron J. C. Boyneburg's son Philipp is very revealing of Leibniz's political sentiments:

As for.. the great question of the power of sovereigns and the obedience their peoples owe them, I usually say that it would be good for princes to be persuaded that their people have the right to resist them, and for the people, on the other hand, to be persuaded to obey them passively. I am, however, quite of the opinion of Grotius, that one ought to obey as a rule, the evil of revolution being greater beyond comparison than the evils causing it. Yet I recognize that a prince can go to such excess, and place the well-being of the state in such danger, that the obligation to endure ceases. This is most rare, however, and the theologian who authorizes violence under this pretext should take care against excess; excess being infinitely more dangerous than deficiency.[83]

In 1677, Leibniz called for a European confederation, governed by a council or senate, whose members would represent entire nations and would be free to vote their consciences;[84] this is sometimes tendentiously considered an anticipation of the European Union. He believed that Europe would adopt a uniform religion. He reiterated these proposals in 1715.


Leibniz devoted considerable intellectual and diplomatic effort to what would now be called ecumenical endeavor, seeking to reconcile first the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, later the Lutheran and Reformed churches. In this respect, he followed the example of his early patrons, Baron von Boyneburg and the Duke John Frederick—both cradle Lutherans who converted to Catholicism as adults—who did what they could to encourage the reunion of the two faiths, and who warmly welcomed such endeavors by others. (The House of Brunswick remained Lutheran because the Duke's children did not follow their father.) These efforts included corresponding with the French bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, and involved Leibniz in a fair bit of theological controversy. He evidently thought that the thoroughgoing application of reason would suffice to heal the breach caused by the Reformation.


Leibniz the philologist was an avid student of languages, eagerly latching on to any information about vocabulary and grammar that came his way. He refuted the belief, widely held by Christian scholars in his day, that Hebrew was the primeval language of the human race. He also refuted the argument, advanced by Swedish scholars in his day, that a form of proto-Swedish was the ancestor of the Germanic languages. He puzzled over the origins of the Slavic languages, was aware of the existence of Sanskrit, and was fascinated by classical Chinese.

He published the princeps editio (first modern edition) of the late medieval Chronicon Holtzatiae, a Latin chronicle of the County of Holstein.


A diagram of I Ching hexagrams sent to Leibniz from Joachim Bouvet. The Arabic numerals were added by Leibniz.[85]

Leibniz was perhaps the first major European intellect to take a close interest in Chinese civilization, which he knew by corresponding with, and reading other works by, European Christian missionaries posted in China. Having read Confucius Sinicus Philosophus on the first year of its publication,[86] he concluded that Europeans could learn much from the Confucian ethical tradition. He mulled over the possibility that the Chinese characters were an unwitting form of his universal characteristic. He noted with fascination how the I Ching hexagrams correspond to the binary numbers from 000000 to 111111, and concluded that this mapping was evidence of major Chinese accomplishments in the sort of philosophical mathematics he admired.[87]

Leibniz's attraction to Chinese philosophy originates from his perception that Chinese philosophy was similar to his own.[86] The historian E.R. Hughes suggests that Leibniz's ideas of "simple substance" and "pre-established harmony" were directly influenced by Confucianism, pointing to the fact that they were conceived during the period that he was reading Confucius Sinicus Philosophus.[86]

As polymath

While making his grand tour of European archives to research the Brunswick family history that he never completed, Leibniz stopped in Concordat between the Habsburgs and the Vatican, and creating an imperial research library, official archive, and public insurance fund. He wrote and published an important paper on mechanics.

Leibniz also wrote a short paper, Primae veritates, first published by Louis Couturat in 1903, (pp. 518–523) [88] summarizing his views on metaphysics. The paper is undated; that he wrote it while in Vienna in 1689 was determined only in 1999, when the ongoing critical edition finally published Leibniz's philosophical writings for the period 1677–90.[89] Couturat's reading of this paper was the launching point for much 20th-century thinking about Leibniz, especially among analytic philosophers. But after a meticulous study of all of Leibniz's philosophical writings up to 1688—a study the 1999 additions to the critical edition made possible—Mercer (2001) begged to differ with Couturat's reading; the jury is still out.

Posthumous reputation

As a mathematician and philosopher

When Leibniz died, his reputation was in decline. He was remembered for only one book, the Théodicée, whose supposed central argument Voltaire lampooned in his Candide. Voltaire's depiction of Leibniz's ideas was so influential that many believed it to be an accurate description. Thus Voltaire and his Candide bear some of the blame for the lingering failure to appreciate and understand Leibniz's ideas. Leibniz had an ardent disciple, Christian Wolff, whose dogmatic and facile outlook did Leibniz's reputation much harm. He also influenced David Hume who read his Théodicée and used some of his ideas.[90] In any event, philosophical fashion was moving away from the rationalism and system building of the 17th century, of which Leibniz had been such an ardent proponent. His work on law, diplomacy, and history was seen as of ephemeral interest. The vastness and richness of his correspondence went unrecognized.

Much of Europe came to doubt that Leibniz had discovered the calculus independently of Newton, and hence his whole work in mathematics and physics was neglected. Voltaire, an admirer of Newton, also wrote Candide at least in part to discredit Leibniz's claim to having discovered the calculus and Leibniz's charge that Newton's theory of universal gravitation was incorrect. The rise of relativity and subsequent work in the history of mathematics has put Leibniz's stance in a more favorable light.

Leibniz's long march to his present glory began with the 1765 publication of the Nouveaux Essais, which Kant read closely. In 1768, Dutens edited the first multi-volume edition of Leibniz's writings, followed in the 19th century by a number of editions, including those edited by Erdmann, Foucher de Careil, Gerhardt, Gerland, Klopp, and Mollat. Publication of Leibniz's correspondence with notables such as Antoine Arnauld, Samuel Clarke, Sophia of Hanover, and her daughter Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, began.

In 1900, Bertrand Russell published a critical study of Leibniz's metaphysics.[91] Shortly thereafter, Louis Couturat published an important study of Leibniz, and edited a volume of Leibniz's heretofore unpublished writings, mainly on logic. They made Leibniz somewhat respectable among 20th-century analytical and linguistic philosophers in the English-speaking world (Leibniz had already been of great influence to many Germans such as Bernhard Riemann). For example, Leibniz's phrase salva veritate, meaning interchangeability without loss of or compromising the truth, recurs in Willard Quine's writings. Nevertheless, the secondary English-language literature on Leibniz did not really blossom until after World War II. This is especially true of English speaking countries; in Gregory Brown's bibliography fewer than 30 of the English language entries were published before 1946. American Leibniz studies owe much to Leroy Loemker (1904–85) through his translations and his interpretive essays in LeClerc (1973).

Nicholas Jolley has surmised that Leibniz's reputation as a philosopher is now perhaps higher than at any time since he was alive.[92] Analytic and contemporary philosophy continue to invoke his notions of identity, individuation, and possible worlds, while the doctrinaire contempt for metaphysics, characteristic of analytic and linguistic philosophy, has faded. Work in the history of 17th- and 18th-century ideas has revealed more clearly the 17th-century "Intellectual Revolution" that preceded the better-known Industrial and commercial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. The 17th- and 18th-century belief that natural science, especially physics, differs from philosophy mainly in degree and not in kind, is no longer dismissed out of hand. That modern science includes a "scholastic" as well as a "radical empiricist" element is more accepted now than in the early 20th century. Leibniz's thought is now seen as a major prolongation of the mighty endeavor begun by Plato and Aristotle: the universe and man's place in it are amenable to human reason.

In 1985, the German government created the Leibniz Prize, offering an annual award of 1.55 million euros for experimental results and 770,000 euros for theoretical ones. It is the world's largest prize for scientific achievement.

The collection of manuscript papers of Leibniz at the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek – Niedersächische Landesbibliothek were inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2007.[93]

Writings and edition

Leibniz mainly wrote in three languages: scholastic Latin, French and German. During his lifetime, he published many pamphlets and scholarly articles, but only two "philosophical" books, the Combinatorial Art and the Théodicée. (He published numerous pamphlets, often anonymous, on behalf of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, most notably the "De jure suprematum" a major consideration of the nature of sovereignty). One substantial book appeared posthumously, his Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain, which Leibniz had withheld from publication after the death of John Locke. Only in 1895, when Bodemann completed his catalogue of Leibniz's manuscripts and correspondence, did the enormous extent of Leibniz's Nachlass become clear: about 15,000 letters to more than 1000 recipients plus more than 40,000 other items. Moreover, quite a few of these letters are of essay length. Much of his vast correspondence, especially the letters dated after 1700, remains unpublished, and much of what is published has been so only in recent decades. The amount, variety, and disorder of Leibniz's writings are a predictable result of a situation he described in a letter as follows:

I cannot tell you how extraordinarily distracted and spread out I am. I am trying to find various things in the archives; I look at old papers and hunt up unpublished documents. From these I hope to shed some light on the history of the [House of] Brunswick. I receive and answer a huge number of letters. At the same time, I have so many mathematical results, philosophical thoughts, and other literary innovations that should not be allowed to vanish that I often do not know where to begin.[94]

The extant parts of the critical edition[95] of Leibniz's writings are organized as follows:

  • Series 1. Political, Historical, and General Correspondence. 25 vols., 1666–1706.
  • Series 2. Philosophical Correspondence. 3 vols., 1663–1700.
  • Series 3. Mathematical, Scientific, and Technical Correspondence. 8 vols., 1672–1698.
  • Series 4. Political Writings. 7 vols., 1667–99.
  • Series 5. Historical and Linguistic Writings. Inactive.
  • Series 6. Philosophical Writings. 7 vols., 1663–90, and Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain.
  • Series 7. Mathematical Writings. 6 vols., 1672–76.
  • Series 8. Scientific, Medical, and Technical Writings. 1 vol., 1668-76.

The systematic cataloguing of all of Leibniz's Nachlass began in 1901. It was hampered by two world wars and decades of German division in two states with the cold war's "iron curtain" in between, separating scholars, and also scattering portions of his literary estates. The ambitious project has had to deal with seven languages contained in some 200,000 pages of written and printed paper. In 1985 it was reorganized and included in a joint program of German federal and state (Länder) academies. Since then the branches in Potsdam, Münster, Hanover and Berlin have jointly published 57 volumes of the critical edition, with an average of 870 pages, and prepared index and concordance works.

Selected works

The year given is usually that in which the work was completed, not of its eventual publication.

  • 1666. De Arte Combinatoria (On the Art of Combination); partially translated in Loemker §1 and Parkinson (1966).
  • 1671. Hypothesis Physica Nova (New Physical Hypothesis); Loemker §8.I (partial).
  • 1673 Confessio philosophi (A Philosopher's Creed); an English translation is available.
  • 1684. Nova methodus pro maximis et minimis (New method for maximums and minimums); translated in Struik, D. J., 1969. A Source Book in Mathematics, 1200–1800. Harvard University Press: 271–81.
  • 1686. Discours de métaphysique; Martin and Brown (1988), Ariew and Garber 35, Loemker §35, Wiener III.3, Woolhouse and Francks 1. An online translation by Jonathan Bennett is available.
  • 1686. Generales inquisitiones de analysi notionum et veritatum (General Inquiries About the Analysis of Concepts and of Truths)
  • 1695. Système nouveau de la nature et de la communication des substances (New System of Nature)
  • 1703. Explication de l'Arithmétique Binaire (Explanation of Binary Arithmetic); Gerhardt, Mathematical Writings VII.223. An online translation by Lloyd Strickland is available.
  • 1710. Théodicée; Farrer, A.M., and Huggard, E.M., trans., 1985 (1952). Wiener III.11 (part). An online translation is available at Project Gutenberg.
  • 1714. Monadologie; translated by Nicholas Rescher, 1991. The Monadology: An Edition for Students. University of Pittsburgh Press. Ariew and Garber 213, Loemker §67, Wiener III.13, Woolhouse and Francks 19. Online translations: Jonathan Bennett's translation; Latta's translation; French, Latin and Spanish edition, with facsimile of Leibniz's manuscript.
  • 1717. Collectanea Etymologica, edited by the secretary of Leibniz Johann Georg von Eckhart
  • 1765. Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain; completed in 1704. Remnant, Peter, and Bennett, Jonathan, trans., 1996. New Essays on Human Understanding. Cambridge University Press. Wiener III.6 (part). An online translation of the Preface and Book I by Jonathan Bennett is available.


Six important collections of English translations are Wiener (1951), Parkinson (1966), Loemker (1969), Ariew and Garber (1989), Woolhouse and Francks (1998), and Strickland (2006). The ongoing critical edition of all of Leibniz's writings is Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe.[95]

See also


  1. ^ Franz Exner, "Über Leibnitz'ens Universal-Wissenschaft", 1843; "Universalwissenschaft" in the Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon; Stanley Burris, "Leibniz's Influence on 19th Century Logic", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. ^ The History of Philosophy, Vol. IV: Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Leibniz by Frederick C. Copleston (1958)
  3. ^ "It is in Leibniz that Tarde finds the main conditions for the metaphysics of possession.He sees in Monadology (1714) the beginning of a movement of dissolution of classical ontology (notably the identity of "being" and "simplicity"), which would, in a still implicitand unthinking form, find its most obvious confirmation in today's science." In: "The Dynamics of Possession: An Introduction to The Sociology of Gabriel Tarde" by Didier Debaise
  4. ^ "Leibniz" entry in Collins English Dictionary, HarperCollins Publishers, 1998.
  5. ^ Max Mangold (ed.), ed. (2005). Duden-Aussprachewörterbuch (Duden Pronunciation Dictionary) (in German) (7th ed.). Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut GmbH.  
  6. ^ Eva-Maria Krech et al. (ed.), ed. (2010). Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch (German Pronunciation Dictionary) (in German) (1st ed.). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG.  
  7. ^ David Smith, pp. 173–181 (1929)
  8. ^ Roughly 40%, 35%, and 25%, Leibniz-Nachlass (i.e. Legacy of Leibniz), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek (one of the three Official Libraries of the German state Lower Saxony).
  9. ^ Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann (2008). From Plato to Derrida. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.  
  10. ^ It is possible that the words "in Aquarius" refer to the Moon (the Sun in Cancer; Sagittarius rising (Ascendant)); see Astro-Databank chart of Gottfried Leibniz.
  11. ^ The original has "1/4 uff 7 uhr" but there is no reason to assume that in the 17th century this meant a quarter to seven. The quote is given by Hartmut Hecht in Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (Teubner-Archiv zur Mathematik, Volume 2, 1992), in the first lines of chapter 2, Der junge Leibniz, p. 15; see Der junge LeibnizH. Hecht, ; see also . B. 1. Breslau 1846, Anm. S. 4G. W. Frhr. v. LeibnitzG. E. Guhrauer, .
  12. ^ Mackie (1845), 21
  13. ^ Mackie (1845), 22
  14. ^ Mackie (1845), 26
  15. ^ A few copies were produced as requested for the habilitation procedure; it was reprinted without his consent in 1690.
  16. ^ Jolley, Nicholas (1995). The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz. Cambridge University Press. :20
  17. ^ Simmons, George (2007). Calculus Gems: Brief Lives and Memorable Mathematics. MAA. :143
  18. ^ Mackie (1845), 38
  19. ^ Mackie (1845), 39
  20. ^ Mackie (1845), 40
  21. ^ Aiton 1985: 312
  22. ^ Ariew R., G.W. Leibniz, life and works, p.21 in The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz, ed. by N. Jolley, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0521365880
  23. ^ Mackie (1845), 43
  24. ^ Mackie (1845), 44-45
  25. ^ Mackie (1845), 58-61
  26. ^ Mackie (1845), 69-70
  27. ^ Mackie (1845), 73-74
  28. ^ On the encounter between Newton and Leibniz and a review of the evidence, see Alfred Rupert Hall, Philosophers at War: The Quarrel Between Newton and Leibniz, (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 44–69.
  29. ^ Mackie (1845), 117-118
  30. ^ For a study of Leibniz's correspondence with Sophia Charlotte, see MacDonald Ross, George, 1990, "Leibniz’s Exposition of His System to Queen Sophie Charlotte and Other Ladies.” In Leibniz in Berlin, ed. H. Poser and A. Heinekamp, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1990, 61-69..
  31. ^ Mackie (1845), 109
  32. ^ See Wiener IV.6 and Loemker § 40. Also see a curious passage titled "Leibniz's Philosophical Dream," first published by Bodemann in 1895 and translated on p. 253 of Morris, Mary, ed. and trans., 1934. Philosophical Writings. Dent & Sons Ltd.
  33. ^ "Christian Mathematicians – Leibniz GOD & MATH Thinking Christianly About Math Education". 
  34. ^ Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (2012). Peter Loptson, ed. Discourse on Metaphysics and Other Writings. Broadview Press. pp. 23–24.  
  35. ^ Christopher Ernest Cosans (2009). Owen's Ape & Darwin's Bulldog: Beyond Darwinism and Creationism. Indiana University Press. pp. 102–103.  
  36. ^ Andreas Sofroniou (2007). Moral Philosophy, from Hippocrates to the 21st Aeon.  
  37. ^ Shelby D. Hunt (2003). Controversy in Marketing Theory: For Reason, Realism, Truth, and Objectivity. M.E. Sharpe. p. 33.  
  38. ^ Ariew & Garber, 69; Loemker, §§36, 38
  39. ^ Ariew & Garber, 138; Loemker, §47; Wiener, II.4
  40. ^ Ariew & Garber, 272–84; Loemker, §§14, 20, 21; Wiener, III.8
  41. ^ Mates (1986), chpts. 7.3, 9
  42. ^ Loemker 717
  43. ^ See Jolley (1995: 129–31), Woolhouse and Francks (1998), and Mercer (2001).
  44. ^ Loemker 311
  45. ^ For a precis of what Leibniz meant by these and other Principles, see Mercer (2001: 473–84). For a classic discussion of Sufficient Reason and Plenitude, see Lovejoy (1957).
  46. ^ Rutherford (1998) is a detailed scholarly study of Leibniz's theodicy.
  47. ^ Magill, Frank (ed.). Masterpieces of World Philosophy. New York: Harper Collins (1990).
  48. ^ Magill, Frank (ed.) (1990)
  49. ^ The Art of Discovery 1685, Wiener 51
  50. ^ Many of his memoranda are translated in Parkinson 1966.
  51. ^ Loemker, however, who translated some of Leibniz's works into English, said that the symbols of chemistry were real characters, so there is disagreement among Leibniz scholars on this point.
  52. ^ Preface to the General Science, 1677. Revision of Rutherford's translation in Jolley 1995: 234. Also Wiener I.4
  53. ^ A good introductory discussion of the "characteristic" is Jolley (1995: 226–40). An early, yet still classic, discussion of the "characteristic" and "calculus" is Couturat (1901: chpts. 3,4).
  54. ^ Struik (1969), 367
  55. ^ Jesseph, Douglas M. (1998). "Leibniz on the Foundations of the Calculus: The Question of the Reality of Infinitesimal Magnitudes".  
  56. ^ Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von; Gerhardt, Carl Immanuel (trans.) (1920). The Early Mathematical Manuscripts of Leibniz. Open Court Publishing. p. 93. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  57. ^ For an English translation of this paper, see Struik (1969: 271–84), who also translates parts of two other key papers by Leibniz on the calculus.
  58. ^  
  59. ^ Loemker §27
  60. ^ Mates (1986), 240
  61. ^ HIRANO, Hideaki. "Leibniz's Cultural Pluralism And Natural Law". Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  62. ^ Mandelbrot (1977), 419. Quoted in Hirano (1997).
  63. ^ Ariew and Garber 117, Loemker §46, W II.5. On Leibniz and physics, see the chapter by Garber in Jolley (1995) and Wilson (1989).
  64. ^ See H. G. Alexander, ed., The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 25–26.
  65. ^ See Ariew and Garber 155–86, Loemker §§53–55, W II.6–7a
  66. ^ On Leibniz and biology, see Loemker (1969a: VIII).
  67. ^ On Leibniz and psychology, see Loemker (1969a: IX).
  68. ^ Larry M. Jorgensen, The Principle of Continuity and Leibniz's Theory of Consciousness
  69. ^ D. Brett King, Wayne Viney and William Woody. A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context (2009), 150–153.
  70. ^ Nicholls and Leibscher, Thinking the Unconscious: Nineteenth-Century German Thought (2010), 6.
  71. ^ King et al. (2009), 150–153.
  72. ^ Nicholls and Leibscher, Thinking the Unconscious: Nineteenth-Century German Thought (2010), 9.
  73. ^ Klempe SH (2011). "The role of tone sensation and musical stimuli in early experimental psychology". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47 (2): 187–99.  
  74. ^ Aiton (1985), 107–114, 136
  75. ^ Davis (2000) discusses Leibniz's prophetic role in the emergence of calculating machines and of formal languages.
  76. ^ See Couturat (1901): 473–78.
  77. ^ Couturat (1901), 115
  78. ^ See N. Rescher, Leibniz and Cryptography (Pittsburgh, University Library Systems, University of Pittsburgh, 2012).
  79. ^ The Reality Club: Wake Up Call for Europe Tech
  80. ^ On Leibniz's projects for scientific societies, see Couturat (1901), App. IV.
  81. ^ See, for example, Ariew and Garber 19, 94, 111, 193; Riley 1988; Loemker §§2, 7, 20, 29, 44, 59, 62, 65; W I.1, IV.1–3
  82. ^ See (in order of difficulty) Jolley (2005: chpt. 7), Gregory Brown's chapter in Jolley (1995), Hostler (1975), and Riley (1996).
  83. ^ Loemker: 59, fn 16. Translation revised.
  84. ^ Loemker: 58, fn 9
  85. ^ Perkins (2004), 117
  86. ^ a b c Mungello, David E. (1971). "Leibniz's Interpretation of Neo-Confucianism". Philosophy East and West 21 (1): 3–22.  
  87. ^ On Leibniz, the I Ching, and binary numbers, see Aiton (1985: 245–48). Leibniz's writings on Chinese civilization are collected and translated in Cook and Rosemont (1994), and discussed in Perkins (2004).
  88. ^ Later translated as Loemker 267 and Woolhouse and Francks 30
  89. ^ A VI, 4, n. 324, pp. 1643-1649 with the title: Principia Logico-Metaphysica
  90. ^ Vasilyev, 1993
  91. ^ Russell, 1900
  92. ^ Jolley, 217–19
  93. ^ "Letters from and to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz within the collection of manuscript papers of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz". UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  94. ^ 1695 letter to Vincent Placcius in Gerhardt.
  95. ^ a b See photograph there.



  • Bodemann, Eduard, Die Leibniz-Handschriften der Königlichen öffentlichen Bibliothek zu Hannover, 1895, (anastatic reprint: Hildesheim, Georg Olms, 1966).
  • Bodemann, Eduard, Der Briefwechsel des Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in der Königlichen öffentliche Bibliothek zu Hannover, 1895, (anastatic reprint: Hildesheim, Georg Olms, 1966).
  • Ravier, Émile, Bibliographie des œuvres de Leibniz, Paris: Alcan, 1937 (anastatic reprint Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1966).
  • Heinekamp, Albert and Mertens, Marlen. Leibniz-Bibliographie. Die Literatur über Leibniz bis 1980, Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1984.
  • Heinekamp, Albert and Mertens, Marlen. Leibniz-Bibliographie. Die Literatur über Leibniz. Band II: 1981-1990, Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1996.

An updated bibliography of more than 25.000 titles is available at Leibniz Bibliographie.

Primary literature

  • Wiener, Philip, (ed.), 1951. Leibniz: Selections. Scribner.
  • Schrecker, Paul & Schrecker, Anne Martin, (eds.), 1965. Monadology and other Philosophical Essays. Prentice-Hall.
  • Parkinson, G. H. R. (ed.), 1966. Logical Papers. Clarendon Press.
  • Mason, H.T. & Parkinson, G.H.R. (eds.), 1967. The Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence. Manchester University Press.
  • Loemker, Leroy, (ed.), 1969 (1956). Leibniz: Philosophical Papers and Letters. Reidel.
  • Morris, Mary & Parkinson, G. H. R. (eds.), 1973. Philosophical Writings. Everyman’s University Library.
  • Riley, Patrick, (ed.), 1988. Leibniz: Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
  • Niall, R. Martin, D. & Brown, Stuart (eds.), 1988. Discourse on Metaphysics and Related Writings. Manchester University Press.
  • Ariew, Roger and Garber, Daniel. (eds.), 1989. Leibniz: Philosophical Essays. Hackett.
  • Rescher, Nicholas (ed.), 1991. G. W. Leibniz’s Monadology. An Edition for Students, University of Pittsburgh Press.
  • Parkinson, G. H. R. (ed.) 1992. De Summa Rerum. Metaphysical Papers, 1675-1676. Yale University Press.
  • Cook, Daniel, & Rosemont, Henry Jr., (eds.), 1994. Leibniz: Writings on China. Open Court.
  • Farrer, Austin (ed.), 1995. Theodicy, Open Court.
  • Remnant, Peter, & Bennett, Jonathan, (eds.), 1996 (1981). Leibniz: New Essays on Human Understanding. Cambridge University Press.
  • Woolhouse, R.S., and Francks, R., (eds.), 1997. Leibniz’s ‘New System’ and Associated Contemporary Texts. Oxford University Press.
  • Woolhouse, R.S., and Francks, R., (eds.), 1998. Leibniz: Philosophical Texts. Oxford University Press.
  • Ariew, Roger, (ed.), 2000. G. W. Leibniz and Samuel Clarke: Correspondence. Hackett.
  • Richard T. W. Arthur, (ed.), 2001. The Labyrinth of the Continuum: Writings on the Continuum Problem, 1672-1686. Yale University Press.
  • Robert C. Sleigh Jr., (ed.), 2005. Confessio Philosophi: Papers Concerning the Problem of Evil, 1671-1678. Yale University Press.
  • Dascal, Marcelo (ed.), 2006. “G. W. Leibniz. The Art of Controversies’’, Springer.
  • Strickland, Lloyd, 2006 (ed.). The Shorter Leibniz Texts: A Collection of New Translations. Continuum.
  • Look, Brandon and Rutherford, Donald (eds.), 2007. The Leibniz-Des Bosses Correspondence, Yale University Press.
  • Cohen, Claudine and Wakefield, Andre, (eds.), 2008. Protogaea. University of Chicago Press.
  • Murray, Michael, (ed.) 2011. Dissertation on Predestination and Grace, Yale University Press.
  • Strickand, Lloyd (ed.), 2011. Leibniz and the two Sophies. The Philosophical Correspondence, Toronto.
  • Lodge, Pail (ed.), 2013. The Leibniz-De Volder Correspondence: With Selections from the Correspondence Between Leibniz and Johann Bernoulli, Yale University Press.
  • Artosi, Alberto, Pieri, Bernardo, Sartor, Giovanni (eds.), 2014. Leibniz: Logico-Philosophical Puzzles in the Law, Springer.

Secondary literature up to 1950

  • Du Bois-Reymond, Paul, 1974. Leibnizsche Gedanken in der neueren Naturwissenschaft, Berlin: Dummler, 1871 (reprinted in his Vorträge über Philosophie und Gesellschaft, Hamburg: Felix Meiner.
  • Couturat, Louis, 1901. La Logique de Leibniz. Paris: Felix Alcan.
  • Heidegger, Martin, 1983. The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. Indiana University Press (lecture course, 1928).
  • Lovejoy, Arthur O., 1957 (1936). "Plenitude and Sufficient Reason in Leibniz and Spinoza" in his The Great Chain of Being. Harvard University Press: 144–82. Reprinted in Frankfurt, H. G., (ed.), 1972. Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. Anchor Books 1972.
  • Mackie, John Milton; Guhrauer, Gottschalk Eduard, 1845. Life of Godfrey William von Leibnitz. Gould, Kendall and Lincoln.
  • Smith, David Eugene (1929). A Source Book in Mathematics. New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 
  • Ward, A. W., 1911. Leibniz as a Politician (lecture)

Secondary literature post-1950

  • Adams, Robert Merrihew. 1994. Lebniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. New York: Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Aiton, Eric J., 1985. Leibniz: A Biography. Hilger (UK).
  • Antognazza, Maria Rosa, 2008. Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Bos, H. J. M., 1974. "Differentials, higher-order differentials and the derivative in the Leibnizian calculus," Arch. History Exact Sciences 14: 1—90.
  • Stuart Brown (ed.), 1999. The Young Leibniz and His Philosophy (1646-76), Dordrecht, Kluwer.
  • Davis, Martin, 2000. The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibniz to Turing. WW Norton.
  • Deleuze, Gilles, 1993. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. University of Minnesota Press.
  • Finster, Reinhard & van den Heuvel, Gerd 2000. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. 4. Auflage. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg (Rowohlts Monographien, 50481), ISBN 3-499-50481-2.
  • Grattan-Guinness, Ivor, 1997. The Norton History of the Mathematical Sciences. W W Norton.
  • Hall, A. R., 1980. Philosophers at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hostler, John, 1975. Leibniz's Moral Philosophy. UK: Duckworth.
  • Ishiguro, Hidé 1990. Leibniz's Philosophy of Logic and Language. Cambridge University Press.
  • Jolley, Nicholas, ed., 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz. Cambridge University Press.
  • Kaldis, Byron, 2011. Leibniz' Argument for Innate Ideas in Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy edited by M Bruce & S Barbone. Blackwell.
  • LeClerc, Ivor, ed., 1973. The Philosophy of Leibniz and the Modern World. Vanderbilt University Press.
  • Luchte, James, 2006. "Mathesis and Analysis: Finitude and the Infinite in the Monadology of Leibniz, in Heythrop Journal, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 519–543.
  • Mates, Benson, 1986. The Philosophy of Leibniz: Metaphysics and Language. Oxford University Press.
  • Mercer, Christia, 2001. Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development. Cambridge University Press.
  • Perkins, Franklin, 2004. Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light. Cambridge University Press.
  • Riley, Patrick, 1996. Leibniz's Universal Jurisprudence: Justice as the Charity of the Wise. Harvard University Press.
  • Rutherford, Donald, 1998. Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
  • Smith, Justin E. H., 2011. Divine Machines. Leibniz and the Sciences of Life, Princeton University Press.
  • Wilson, Catherine, 1989. Leibniz's Metaphysics: A Historical and Comparative Study. Princeton University Press.
  • Zalta, E. N., 2000. "A (Leibnizian) Theory of Concepts," Philosophiegeschichte und logische Analyse / Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 3: 137–183.

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