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Leibniz: Philosophical Essays

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,662 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Although Leibniz's writing forms an enormous corpus, no single work stands as a canonical expression of his whole philosophy. In addition, the wide range of Leibniz's work--letters, published papers, and fragments on a variety of philosophical, religious, mathematical, and scientific questions over a fifty-year period--heightens the challenge of preparing an edition of his ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published March 15th 1989 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1716)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  4,662 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Manny
Apr 10, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
- According to Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason, everything happens for a cause or reason.

- Yes, but why?
Erik
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most intelligent biped who ever lived was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. His philosophy was impenetrable to me for years and years, but I stuck with it, considering that the guy knew no math and then, in a few short years in Paris, arrived at the calculus independent of Newton. Who else could get work done in Paris? Leibniz's philosophy of the monadology, the specimen dynamicum, the program for a metaphysical foundation for physics, the characteristica universalis, geometric algebra, the ...more
IWB
May 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of the important shorter works of Leibniz's philosophical corpus, which are edited and translated by Garber and Ariew. Some of the more important works featured in this collection are the "Monadology," and "Discourse on Metaphysics," and "On Nature Itself". (So some of the works concern Leibniz's theoretical physics and theology, not just philosophy proper [whatever that is:]) Additionally included are some of Leibniz's correspondence letters, which serve to further buttress ...more
David Haines
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a lot of fun reading Leibniz. He defines his terms well, and is very clear when he speak. His humility and desire to seek truth are evident in the way he writes. This book is well worth the time it takes to not just read it, but examine it and work to understand his philosophy.
Bob Nichols
Faced with the laws of Newton and the strength of his religious perspective, Leibniz's philosophical writings, taken collectively, constitute a comprehensive attempt to interpret reality in a systematic, consistent and credible way. There's an underlying harmony to the world. Man and animal are pre-formed, individualized units (monads) of this overall perfection, filled with its energy and expressing its purpose. Both animal and man have soul but only man has a rational soul and is able to ...more
Jibran
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
important shorter works of Leibniz's philosophical corpus, which are edited and translated by Garber and Ariew. Some of the more important works featured in this collection are the "Monadology," and "Discourse on Metaphysics," and "On Nature Itself".
Anna
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, essays
All hail the monad!
Zach Mazlish
Going to read his responses to Locke and Berkeley after I read them, but read pretty much all the other sections other than skimming some of the more purely physics parts. Leibniz's integration of physics/metaphysics and belief in the necessity of both is compelling, but I'm not sure his fundamental metaphysical theories of monads, forces, etc seems like a persuasive vision compatible with modern science (unless I'm misunderstanding, which is certainly possible because it is fairly difficult to ...more
Liedzeit
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, favorites
If there is only one book on philosophy to read, this is it. If there was one Genius in the world it was Leibniz.
No one ever had the imagination to explain the world. To give just one example. Everyone knows that he said that this is the best of possible worlds. (And most people have trouble believing it). But it is not that he looked around and found everything pleasing but he had logical reasons to come to the conclusion. God could not have created a world without a sufficient reason.
...more
Nick
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was alright back in college. It never gelled with me due to his abundant optimism and faith in the unknown reaches of the world's "design." What's the point in philosophizing if all is as it should be?

Perhaps reading Voltaire's "Candide" prior has skewed my view...no, it's Leibniz that is silly. If only he'd met Nietzsche.
E.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I first read most of this volume while in a graduate school class on the Rationalists a quarter century ago. This time I re-read the Discourse on Metaphysics, the Monadology, and a some other essays. I wasn't quite as intrigued by Leibniz this time around as last time. The Monadology is far more interesting than the Discourse.
Ashley
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Liked it, but not in a couldn’t put it down sort of way.
James
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad monad ...more
Amanda L
With his science being uncannily similar to Newton's Principia, his philosophy renders a more cohesive picture, as his convention(s) do not contradict definitions and the findings of modern science with any statement(s) regarding atoms [falsely] being deemed the smallest indivisible unit of matter. Both Newton and Leibniz independently and simultaneously developed multi-variate calculus, but that Leibniz is rarely given due credit is unnerving. His notation has even proved better, as it is ...more
Rob
Aug 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, comprehensive anthology of Leibniz's essays and letters, as well as his comments on his contemporaries like Locke, Berkeley, Newton, and others. Leibniz was brilliant but unsystematic, so understanding him takes a lot of careful reading of his diverse works. But he's well worth studying as one major critic of the Cartesians.

One may find a wealth of philosophical theology in these pages as Leibniz was pressed to argue that this is the best of all possible worlds, that occasionalism
...more
Hal
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read the entire thing - just sections for one of my philosophy classes.

I had a few problems with Leibniz's theories I don't want to expand upon in this review; this explains the 3-star rating.

However, his theories of existence in predication (i.e Halo writes this review - [writes this review] is an ingrained part of Halo's character) and "principle of best" - stating that, of all possible worlds, God has chosen this world for creation and therefore the best possible world for creation
...more
Samantha Puc
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
My rating is based more on the fact that I think Leibniz's theory of monadism is fascinating than anything else. It seems so simple - and so crazy - on the surface, yet some of the complexities of it make me wonder a little. I still don't subscribe to it, even after several weeks of discussion (really, professor?) on it in my modern philosophy course, but it provokes some interesting thought experiments.
Vova Ivlev
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No matter how backwards and unnecessary his theories are, Leibniz's philosophy are revolutionary for his time. When everybody thought about the man in the sky, he though about the universal foundations named monads that made the world (also being controlled by the man in the sky)
Lane Wilkinson
How I learned about Leibniz.
sologdin
Jun 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
famous for the bizarre 'windowless monad' argument, contained herein. author is otherwise brilliant, independently deriving the calculus. monads are still demerits, though.
Andrew
Read Discourses on Metaphysics, Primary Truths, and Monadology.
Greg Meyer
this is merely the closest thing to what I have read on this site currently.
Petronius Jablonski
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Aug 25, 2016
Attila
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May 04, 2012
Julien Lacaille
rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2013
Danirainbow
rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2013
Zaphod
rated it it was ok
Sep 11, 2018
Kate
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2012
Diana-daniela Abramovici
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2013
Vidhi Mundhta
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Feb 05, 2014
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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
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“There is nothing in the understanding which has not come from the senses, except the understanding itself, or the one who understands.” 28 likes
“The present is big with the future.” 26 likes
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