Read Philosophical Essays by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Roger Ariew Daniel Garber Online

philosophical-essays

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 hisAlthough 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 writings in English translation from the French and Latin....

Title : Philosophical Essays
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ISBN : 9780872200623
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 386 Pages
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Philosophical Essays Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-08-30 20:25

    - According to Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason, everything happens for a cause or reason.- Yes, but why?

  • Erik
    2018-08-30 21:36

    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 analysis situs, the Leibniz-Clarke controversy, all of these things were premonitions of the course science and philosophy actually took (and has still to take). The foresight is humbling and awe inspiring to me.

  • IWB
    2018-09-08 21:36

    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 the arguments of certain essays. There is a short preface to each essay or letter in which the editor's provide relevant contextual information; moreover, the editors provide footnotes of relevent historical and philosophical, and terminological points that bring out various nuances that might otherwise have been missed entirely. This work is intended to be a reference work--it's not meant to be read from page one to the end; rather, it is ideal for research, classroom instruction, or for on the go reading when you just need a quick Leibniz fix in a portable format. As an introduction to Leibniz' thought, it's hard to go wrong with this edition. While using this book in a grad seminar, it was brought to my attention that there are some questionable aspects to the translation. Some of the works in this volume are translated from the Latin, others from the French. Either way, some of the word choices lend themselves to serious misinterpretation in the English. Having said that, while my Latin is better than my French, I don't think my understanding of Leibniz's complicated metaphysics was tainted anymore than it would have been had I been reading from the original languages. Is I mentioned above, some of the inclusions concern theorectical aspects of various scientific problems, some of which are problems bequethed to Leibniz from previous thinkers, such as Descartes. But some of the selections have prefaces that do not fully bring out the way in which Leibniz' arguments are responses to certain historical problems. For instance, in section 13 of On Nature Itself, Leibniz raises a number of objections to a view of motion that is compatible with Cartesian physics. The editors, however, do not make clear to which arguments Leibniz was responding. Here is one of these objections, as it relates to Descartes’ view of motion, in a more succinct form than as it occurs in section 13.The Cartesian view of motion consists in geometrical bodies acting on each other within a plenum. Descartes’ definition of motion is as follows: "The translation of a piece of matter from the neighborhood of bodies immediately touching it, these being regarded as being at rest, to the neighborhood of others. " Principle of Philosophy. Sec. II, P25. It is only possible, furthermore, according to Descartes, for the movement of bodies to be circular. Principles II, p33. Leibniz presents the following argument against this Cartesian view.(P1) The criterion for distinguishing a uniform mass of matter is motion. (P2) If motion is transference, then a change of state from one place to another must occur.(P3) It is not the case that a uniform mass of matter can be distinguished by means of a change of state from one place to another. (P4) If (P3), then it is not the case that the criterion for distinguishing a uniform mass of matter is motion. (C1) It is not the case that the criterion for distinguishing a uniform mass of matter is motion.Leibniz presumably intends this argument to be a reductio of Descartes's view since, if Descartes’s view of motion were true, then we would not be able to distinguish between individual objects; but we do distinguish between individual objects. Descartes’ view, therefore, must be false. Leibniz gives an argument for (P3), which is reformulated as follows.(P3a) One part of matter is distinguished from another by means of an extrinsic denomination. [Roughly speaking, an extrinsic denomination is a relational property that does not refer back to the subject:](P3b) It is not the case that at present there is a distinguishing criterion. (P3c) If (P3b), then it is not the case that there is an extrinsic denomination. (P3d) It is not the case that there is an extrinsic denomination. (P3e) If (P3d), then it is not the case that one part of matter is distinguished from another. (C2) It is not the case that one part of matter is distinguished from another. Leibniz also argues against shape, instead of motion, being the criterion for distinguishing one piece of matter from another. According to Leibniz, a uniform mass of matter, which is infinite (i.e., Cartesian extension)has no boundary. Shape, however, entails a boundary. For that reason, the Cartesians cannot construe a uniform mass of matter as having shape; and hence, shape cannot be a means for distinguishing one piece of matter from another.

  • David Haines
    2018-09-19 21:23

    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.

  • باحث
    2018-09-10 00:42

    لدي نسخة أخرى لأكسفورد تشمل كل أعماله إلا الثيوديسا اسم الكتاب "G. W. Leibniz Philosophical Texts"ترجمة وتحقيق"Woolhouse" and "Francks"الكتاب فيه مؤلفات لايبنيتز ورسائله الحوارية مع أرنولد معاصره وغيرهمقدمة محقق الكتاب 50 صفحةوإشكالية مقدمات المحقق الطويلة كنت أظن أنها عند العرب فقط ولكن يظهر أن هذه العدوى عند الغرب كذلك للأسفالشاهد المؤلفات التي في الكتاب تشمل1-Discourse on metaphysics2-Correspondence with arnauld3-Reflections on the Advancement of True Metaphysics4-New system of the Nature of Substances5-Specimen Dynamicum6-Reply of M. S .F7-Remarks on M. Fouchers's Objections8-Explantion of the New System9-Extract from a Letter Written by M. Leibniz10-Note H to bayle's11-Leibniz's Comments on Note H12-A Letter to the editor13-Nature Itself14-Note L to Bayle's15-Leibniz's Comments on Note L16-Reply to Comments17-Draft Letter 18-Principles of Nature19-Monadologyتقريباً الكتاب 300 صفحة والجيد أن المحقق يعرض تواريخ هذه المؤلفات ويلاحظ القارئ تطور أعمال لايبنيتز ما بين أول أعماله "الديسكورس أو مقالة في الميتافيزيقا" إلى أواخر أعماله "المونادولوجيا" ونضوج لايبنيتز الفكريأنصح به من أراد قراءة لايبيتنز لأنه يشمل كل أعماله ماعدا الثيوديسا أفضل من شراء كل كتاب على حدةٍوالمنظمة العربية لديها ترجمة للمقالة والمونادولوجيا من أراد قراءة بعض أعماله باللغة العربية فيجب التحقق من ترجمتهم إن كانت جيدة أو سيئةوكذلك ذكر نظرياته الفلسفية والرياضية وكذلك النقود على المدرسة الشهيرة في وقته الديكارتية وخصوصاً محاوراته مع أرنولدطبعاً لن أتطرق للمسائل الفلسفية والخلاف معه بما أن مدرستي تميل أكثر للديكارتيين وبما أنها مراجعة

  • Anna
    2018-09-09 20:37

    All hail the monad!

  • Nika
    2018-09-08 03:52

    When I first started this book, I disliked Leibniz (mostly due to annoyance with his Universal Characterstic). Three-hundred-something pages later—now I am quite sure I love him.

  • James
    2018-09-21 00:25

    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 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 monad monad monad monad monad

  • Bob Nichols
    2018-08-31 23:31

    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 understand, appreciate and reflect the world's underlying perfection. Man's happiness lies in his progress toward degrees of perfection, though Leibniz spins a bit regarding his argument that, in a pre-established, harmonious world consisting of self-contained ("windowless") monads (beings with energy/soul), individuals have free will. Like Hegel's Absolute Freedom, Leibniz has a capstone to his system and this is God. God is the pervasive presence throughout the world and is the pervasive presence in Leibniz's philosophy. God is the final cause that draws the whole world onto Himself so that everything fits together and has a place, even evil (leads to a higher good). It is quite a system that Leibniz has constructed and, reflective of his time, it perhaps seemed reasonable enough. Pull God from the capstone position, however, and Leibniz's thought is philosophical and scientific theology. Substitute Schopehauer's Will (Energy) or Darwin's evolution for Leibniz's God, and much of Leibniz's harmonious worldview would rest on a firmer foundation except that, rather than a pre-established harmony, such perfection would be (and is) continuously created through (godless) force and counter force acting on and reacting to each other, providing ever changing states of equilibrium from states of disequilibrium.

  • Amanda L
    2018-09-03 20:42

    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 certainly the preferred convention for sophisticated computation. This work evolves as a series of written letters between Leibniz and a female (!) Newtonian apologist. For that it is also a historical snapshot. Most of his letters take on an essay form. Sometimes dragging, it typically kept my interest since, by and large, each of the responses could be individually digested within a single reading session. Also, LOOK at the man.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Got...

  • Rob
    2018-09-09 21:47

    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 is false, that the ontological argument can work with the right adjustment, that God is the necessary being whose existence is the reason why our contingent world exists, and so on.

  • Hal
    2018-08-25 20:27

    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 - are fascinating and worth focusing thought on. Problematic in many ways, but the level of thought that goes into these theories is stunning.

  • Samantha
    2018-09-01 03:35

    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
    2018-08-24 01:22

    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
    2018-08-28 21:32

    How I learned about Leibniz.

  • sologdin
    2018-08-26 21:34

    famous for the bizarre 'windowless monad' argument, contained herein. author is otherwise brilliant, independently deriving the calculus. monads are still demerits, though.

  • Andrew
    2018-09-17 01:48

    Read Discourses on Metaphysics, Primary Truths, and Monadology.

  • Greg Meyer
    2018-08-23 04:23

    this is merely the closest thing to what I have read on this site currently.