Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist

Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist

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Legendary since his own time as a universal genius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) contributed significantly to almost every branch of learning. One of the creators of modern mathematics, and probably the most sophisticated logician between the Middle Ages and Frege, as well as a pioneer of ecumenical theology, he also wrote extensively on such diverse subjects as history, geology, and physics. But the part of his work that is most studied today is probably his writings in metaphysics, which have been the focus of particularly lively philosophical discussion in the last twenty years or so. The writings contain one of the great classic systems of modern philosophy, but the system must be pieced together from a vast and miscellaneous array of manuscripts, letters, articles, and books, in a way that makes especially strenuous demands on scholarship. This book presents an in-depth interpretation of three important parts of Leibniz's metaphysics, thoroughly grounded in the texts as well as in philosophical analysis and critique. The three areas discussed are the metaphysical part of Leibniz's philosophy of logic, his essentially theological treatment of the central issues of ontology, and his theory of substance (the famous theory of monads).show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 446 pages
  • 154.9 x 233.7 x 38.1mm | 884.52g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195084608
  • 9780195084603

Back cover copy

Legendary since his own time as a universal genius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) contributed significantly to almost every branch of learning. One of the creators of modern mathematics, and probably the most sophisticated logician between the Middle Ages and Frege, as well as a pioneer of ecumenical theology, he also wrote extensively on such diverse subjects as history, geology, and physics. But the part of his work that is most studied today is his writings in metaphysics, which have been the focus of particularly lively philosophical discussion in the last twenty years or so. The writings contain one of the great classic systems of modern philosophy, but the system must be pieced together from a vast and miscellaneous array of manuscripts, letters, articles, and books, in a way that makes especially strenuous demands on scholarship. This book presents an in-depth interpretation of three important parts of Leibniz's metaphysics, thoroughly grounded in the texts as well as in philosophical analysis and critique. The three areas discussed are the metaphysical part of Leibniz's philosophy of logic, his essentially theological treatment of the central issues of ontology, and his theory of substance (the famous theory of monads).show more

Review quote

Adams offers a detailed analysis of an impressive range of texts ... This is an important contribution to Leibniz studies. Not only does Adams display a most impressive mastery both of Leibniz's writings and of those of other philosophers of his era, but his interpretations are ingenious and his arguments subtle and original. I am sure that this is a book that Leibniz scholars will need to consult, and that it will stimulate much discussion ... it is an outstanding example of its kind. * G.H.R. Parkinson, University of Reading, British Journal for the Hisotry of Philosophy, Vol. 4/No. 2, 1996 * Leibniz could not have hoped for a more thoughtful and penetrating, more careful, sensitive, and positive, examination of his ideas than this ... Given the evident "love of truth" exhibited in Adam's book, he surely would have welcomed it. * Times Higher Education Supplement * A finely detailed and elaborately worked-out apology for the German metaphysician ... This is an austere and often daunting work which makes few concessions to those who are not already closely interested in Leibniz's philosophy. Its range is impressive ... On any showing, it must be counted a formidable scholarly achievement. * Times Literary Supplement *show more

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