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Discourse on Metaphysics & Other Essays

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  656 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Discourse on Metaphysics and Other Essays contains complete translations of the two essays that constitute the best introduction to Leibniz's complete thought: 'Discourse on Metaphysics', a short course in his metaphysics, written in 1686 at the time his mature thought was just crystalising and 'Monadology' of 1714, a summary of Leibniz's mature metaphysics, written late i ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published November 15th 1991 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1985)
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Leibniz is likely the closest that I will get to supporting Rationalism, personally. His thoughts are clear, and easy to follow, even if I do not agree with him all the time.

The best part about this specific edition is that it has the Discourse on Metaphysics alongside the Monadology, so you can work your way through Leibniz' main ideas in the Discourse, and then get his summary in the Monadology.

Bringing Rationalism back around to take up the teleological standpoint is likely Leibniz' strongest
Brent McCulley
It was super fun to interact with Leibniz finally. His argument of sufficient reason, and argument from contingency for God's existence were awesome to read finally from his own pen. A great overview of what rationalism truly was in the 18th century.
Leibniz would be intolerable if he wasn’t so concise and orderly. The Discourse and Monadology are quick reads. He sets forth his argument with minimal rhetorical flourish, building on his previous points like an architect designing a house. Simple as it sounds, this is a rare skill, and I admire Leibniz for it.

In terms of content, on the other hand, he is hard to stomach. Any modern reader will get the nagging feeling that Leibniz’s reasoning is fallacious, but putting your finger on exactly ho
Josh Sinclair
This may be the most influential book I've ever read. I don't know what that says about me. I either love simplicity, or I'm extremely outdated in my rational. I'll go with the first. Seriously though, this dude gets it. From a philosophical perspective, some of the latter arguments in this are good, but have since been proven wrong. Not inconsistent though. His monadology paved the way for atomism and string theory etc. The monad is a little to ambitious for me but is still an interesting read. ...more
Drew Van gorder
This may have been the best discourse on metaphysics that I have ever read in my life thus far. Leibniz makes a philosophical case that is difficult to say anything against due to it's recognition of rather complicated (made much less complex by Leibniz) paradigms which drive humanity as a whole. Leibniz puts forth a tremendous effort in this work to convince the reader of his rather idealistic philosophy of optimism. One of the core doctrines continually at the forefront of the student's mental ...more
David Laurin
At first it seems really silly and odd, but by the end, and after studying a little bit of physics, I have really come around to Leibniz. What I find most interesting now a days is his theory that God creates simple laws that have big effects. Really challenging stuff when you give it the time of day.
A good snapshot of the trend toward constructing tighter logic; however, heavily set toward proofs of God and his truths without a strong premise. More than anything, Leibniz shows a strong understanding of a wide subject matter, including philosophy, history, science, mathematics, and religion. He is a more practical philosopher than some of his contemporaries and gives a fair treatment of free will. He downplays Descartes in two places, once regarding the physics of velocity vs. momentum, and ...more
Graham Lee
I came here for the Monadology and was not disappointed.
Leibniz presents a metaphysical solution to the classic question: If God is omnipotent, why is there evil in the world? His answer is that this world (with all of its problems) is the best possible world - If God rid the world of evil, there could be even greater evil, destruction, and chaos as a result.
Also, not my cup of tea. He makes all the same mistakes and Descartes, and isn't anymore interesting. Fuck 'em, I'll read something I actually think is worth reading.
His theory has about as much going for it as Scientology, but Leibniz is as close as I get to being interested in continental rationalism.
A teacher of mine said she can't fathom how this guy wasn't on acid when he thought up his philosophy. I think she's onto something.
this is excellent. halfway finished and have already used it in a paper on postmodernism.
Leibniz gets some extra points just for being so "out there."
Jason White
Leibniz is weird. The Monadology is fun though.
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  • The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters
  • Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • The Geometry of René Descartes: with a Facsimile of the First Edition
  • The Essential Plotinus
  • A Summa of the Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of St Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
  • Principia Ethica (Philosophical Classics)
  • The Categories
  • The New Organon
  • Proslogion
  • A Presocratics Reader
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • Mind: A Brief Introduction
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • Spinoza: Practical Philosophy
  • Two New Sciences: Including Centers Of Gravity And Force Of Percussion
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (/ˈlaɪbnɪts/; German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]; July 1, 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German polymath and philosopher.

He occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. Most scholars believe Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's notation has been widely used ever since
More about Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz...
Philosophical Essays Monadology Monadology and Other Philosophical Essays Discourse on Metaphysics/The Monadology (Philosophical Classics) Discourse on Metaphysics

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