Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction [#490]
Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction [#490]


  • Introduces the German polymath and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and discusses his philosophy, and how his intellectual visions were shaped by his own experiences in life
  • Discusses Leibniz's great master project, the systematic reform and advancement of all the sciences, to be undertaken as a collaborative enterprise supported by an enlightened ruler, with the goal of the improvement of the human condition and the celebration thereby of the glory of God in His creation
  • Uncovers what it was, for Leibniz, to be a substance, and how this conception informed his doctrine of simple substances (or monads), and his theory of corporeal substances and bodies
  • Examines Leibniz's philosophy as the product of a multi-layered conversation with centuries of past thought and hundreds of individuals of his own era, whose insights were reshaped and remodelled into a strikingly original outlook

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was a man of extraordinary intellectual creativity who lived an exceptionally rich and varied intellectual life in troubled times. More than anything else, he was a man who wanted to improve the life of his fellow human beings through the advancement of all the sciences and the establishment of a stable and just political order. 

In this Very Short Introduction Maria Rosa Antognazza outlines the central features of Leibniz's philosophy in the context of his overarching intellectual vision and aspirations. Against the backdrop of Leibniz's encompassing scientific ambitions, she introduces the fundamental principles of Leibniz's thought, as well as his theory of truth and theory of knowledge. Exploring Leibniz's contributions to logic, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics, she considers how his theories sat alongside his concerns with politics, diplomacy, and a broad range of practical reforms: juridical, economic, administrative, technological, medical, and ecclesiastical. Discussing Leinbniz's theories of possible worlds, she concludes by looking at what is ultimately real in this actual world that we experience, the good and evil there is in it, and Leibniz's response to the problem of evil through his theodicy. 


1: Who was Leibniz?
2: Characteristica universalis, logical calculus, and mathematics
3: Encyclopaedia, Scientia Generalis, and the Academies of Sciences
4: Possible worlds, the principle of non-contradiction, and the principle of sufficient reason
5: Complete-concept theory, theory of truth, and theory of knowledge
6: The best of all possible worlds and Leibniz's theodicy
7: What is ultimately real - unity and activity
8: Monads
9: Monads, corporeal substances, and bodies
Further Reading


Maria Rosa Antognazza is Professor of Philosophy at Kings College London. She has held research and visiting fellowships in Italy, Germany, Israel, Great Britain, and the USA, including a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (1997-2000) and a two-year research fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust (2003-5). She is the author of Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Leibniz on the Trinity and the Incarnation: Reason and Revelation in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2007). She is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Leibniz (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), has published numerous contributions on seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy, and has edited texts by Leibniz, J. H. Alsted, and H. Grotius.


ISBN : 9780198718642

Maria Rosa Antognazza
160 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction [#490]

Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction [#490]

Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction [#490]