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Leibniz (The Routledge Philosophers)

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2 Ratings  ·  1 Review
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was hailed by Bertrand Russell as 'one of the supreme intellects of all time'. A towering figure in seventeenth-century philosophy, his complex thought has been championed and satirized in equal measure, most famously in Voltaire's Candide.
In this outstanding introduction to his philosophy, Nicholas Jolley introduces and assesses the
Published June 13th 2005 by Routledge (first published April 22nd 2005)
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Oliver Christiansen
Nov 15, 2016 Oliver Christiansen rated it it was ok
A mixed bag, that tries to cover almost all of Leibniz' philosophically relevant arguments in about 200 pages, so needless to say the arguments are not always that elaborated. Obviously this is a general flaw of Leibniz' oeuvre, the fact that most of it is apparently quite scattered, so Jolley is not entirely to blame. In fact he's an astute navagater, and I enjoyed several of his references (Rembrandt, Tolstoy and he also alludes to classical atonal music in order to explain a key-concept of ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Kristopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a solid introduction to the systematic philosophy of Leibniz. I don't know enough about Leibniz to speak to the strength of Jolley's interpretation, but he's a good historian of philosophy and writes in a style that is both precise and accessible, which is rare. He presupposes some working knowledge of the intellectual climate, which is, I think necessary for a successful overview of such a major figure. If, however, you're not familiar with early modern philosophy already, you may ...more
Nov 17, 2013 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Philosophy buffs
Recommended to Eric by: Brandon Wolfram
The strength of the book was its ease of understanding. The narrative style allowed me to follow the text and react to the ideas of Liebniz being discussed. However, then the dust settles, the final, global positions of Leibniz just do not seem plausible. Also, I read Candide in undergraduate school and still enjoy reliving its satire. That is a big hurdle for Leibniz to overcome.

Also, the book was read as back fill as I try to read enough to understand my son who is getting a philosophy degree.
David M
Aug 08, 2015 David M rated it really liked it
Am I a monad?

Kurt Godel once sagely remarked that no one ever became wise from reading Voltaire. So then how does one gain wisdom? The great logician recommended Leibniz.

Voltaire was a spokesman for the very modern idea that we just need to be sensible and put our trust in the progress of science. By contrast Leibniz will likely seem hideous and baroque to the modern reader. Indeed I myself - modern reader par excellence - find monads really fucking weird. I'm alternately attracted and repelled.
Jan 09, 2013 Markku rated it really liked it
Perhaps the best accessible and short introduction to Leibniz currently in print. Although Jolley gives his own interpretations, the book is fairly neutral and includes references to different kind of views. The general argument of harmony as an unifying force in Leibniz's philosophy is acceptable. The chapter of Leibniz's ethical and political thought is better than usually in these kind of introductions.
مسعود حسینی
Aug 19, 2015 مسعود حسینی rated it liked it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Other Books in the Series

The Routledge Philosophers (1 - 10 of 18 books)
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  • Wittgenstein
  • Russell
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  • Rawls

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