Photo by University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Leibniz, G. W (1646.7.1-1716.11.14)

Leibniz or Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Baron von, 1646-1716, German philosopher and mathematician. His career as a scholar embraced the physical sciences, law, history, diplomacy, and logic, and he held diplomatic posts (from 1666) under various German princes. Leibniz also invented the CALCULUS, concurrently with but independently of NEWTON. His philosophical writings, including Theodicy (1710) and Monadology (1714), popularized by the philosopher Christian von Wolff, were orthodox and optimistic, claiming that a divine plan made this the best of all possible worlds (a view satirized by VOLTAIRE in Candide). According to Leibniz, the basic constituents of the universe are simple substances he called monads, infinite in number, nonmaterial, and hierarchically arranged. His major work, New Essays on Human Understanding, a treatise on John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding, was written in 1704 but because of Locke's death published only in 1765. A critique of Locke's theory that the mind is a blank at birth, it exerted great influence on and the German enlightenment. Modern studies have tended to focus on Leibniz's contributions to mathematics and logic; manuscripts published in the 20th cent. show him to be the founder of symbolic logic (see LOGIC). (From the Concise Columbia Encyclopedia. Copyright © 1991 by Columbia University Press.) ILT web (

The Monadology (1898) (
The Monadology (1898) ( translated by Robert Latta
The Monadology (1898) (
La Monadologie (
Drôle de Pensése (
Idea bizzarra per un nuovo genere di rappresentazioni (
Drôle de Pensée, touchant une nouvelle sorte de représentations (1675) (
Lettres et textes divers (
La monadologie (
Essai de théodicée- Préface et abrégé (

Other Information
Great Books Five Star Site (
Gopher Leibniz (ITOCSIVM.CSI.IT)
Images (
Metaphysics Research Lab (
Leibniz Discussion Group (
Leibniz : le laboratoire (
Leibniz's Drôle de pensée (
History of Mathematics (
Complete Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm ( biography
The History of Mathematics (
Safe Haven (

Go back to Akamac E-text Links