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Discourse on Metaphysics & Other Essays

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  876 Ratings  ·  20 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 1686)
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Nov 02, 2013 Lotz rated it liked it
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
Aug 03, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 20, 2015 Brent McCulley rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
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.
Josh Sinclair
Nov 04, 2013 Josh Sinclair rated it it was amazing
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 I either love simplicity, or I'm extremely outdated in my rational.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
Nov 20, 2015 Faisalnco rated it it was amazing
I could've sworn that I was reading my own thoughts!

Leibniz holds a special place in my view of philosophy because, similarly to Plato, they both incorporate a natural, mechanistic view with a supernatural, metaphysical wisdom, that present a holistic account of reality. The issue with most philosophies is that they build upon something true and craft it to present one philosophy over the other, but by reading such a comprehensive philosophy, one can only read in awe. Absolutely brilliant!
Drew Van gorder
Mar 15, 2014 Drew Van gorder rated it really liked it
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
Clifton Knox
Oct 31, 2015 Clifton Knox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect representation of quantum physics before quantum physics existed.

Leibniz monadology was considered inferior Newton's mechanical universe. However, 350 years later we find that Leibniz's criticisms of Newtonian physics were in fact correct. We find that Leibniz was much closer to the truth than Newton was.
David Laurin
Jun 25, 2014 David Laurin rated it it was amazing
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.
Jessica Merrill
Dec 14, 2015 Jessica Merrill rated it liked it
Shelves: for-school
I think I remember reading this, barely, and some of things he said. Did any of it stick? Not really, but I enjoyed what little I could. Meaning...It's just plain old "meh." I can't even remember when I read it.
May 18, 2013 JP rated it liked it
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
Barış Özgür
Dec 01, 2015 Barış Özgür rated it liked it
ya ben gene psikoza girdim, ya almanlar ara pasının artık bokunu çıkarıyor. almanlar, topluluk ismi olarak almanlar tabii. leibniz'in de tarihteki tek rakibi sanırım hagi falandır.
Graham Lee
Nov 06, 2014 Graham Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I came here for the Monadology and was not disappointed.
May 16, 2016 Erick rated it it was amazing
Definitely interesting and makes me want to re-read the Theodicy. After reading Schelling thoroughly, it is clear that Leibniz influenced him. The most noticeable area being Schelling's distinction between "sein" and "wesen" and how they relate to each other as aspects of being. Some of Leibniz's ideas were found subsequently to be incorrect, at least in part (e.g. infinite divisibility of matter), but there is still a lot here worth pondering.
Apr 12, 2007 Grace rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 09, 2008 Ian rated it did not like it
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.
Aug 04, 2007 Richard rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 07, 2011 Timothy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: justfinished
this is excellent. halfway finished and have already used it in a paper on postmodernism.
Mx. Carlon
Sep 11, 2010 Mx. Carlon rated it liked it
Leibniz gets some extra points just for being so "out there."
Jason White
Mar 01, 2012 Jason White rated it liked it
Leibniz is weird. The Monadology is fun though.
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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...

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