The impact of the work of German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) on modern science and technology is all but incalculable. His notation for infinitesimal calculus-which he developed independently of Newton-remains in use today, and his invention of binary counting is the basis for modern computing. He was a powerfully influential philosopher as well, and is still considered, alongside Descartes and Spinoza, one of the great 17th-century rationalists. Because much of Leibniz's thinking in the realm of the sciences flowed from his philosophy, understanding how he approached the natural world and humanity's place in it is vital to understanding his contributions to modern science.
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This edition collects two of Leibniz's foundational works, "Discourse on Metaphysics" and "The Monadology," which expound on concepts of philosophical "optimism"-that we live in the best of all possible worlds-and consequently features Leibniz's thoughts on the nature of physical matter. This classic work will intrigue all students of science and philosophy.
With no complete edition of his numerous writings on the wide range of subjects he expounded upon available even today, this 1920 collection of his early mathematical manuscripts—as well as some third-party commentary on them—continues to be essential to anyone wishing to understand Leibniz's contributions to modern science. Here students of the history of science and math lovers alike will enjoy Leibniz's thoughts on the infinitesimal calculus, including a series of manuscripts from 1675, 1676, and 1677, plus the essays "Leibniz in London" and "Leibniz and Pascal" by German scholar C.I. Gerhardt.
In this 1710 treatise, Gottfried Liebniz's only book-length work, he applies the idea of philosophical "optimism" — that we live in the best of all possible worlds —to the "problem of evil"— If a benevolent God exists, why do terrible things happen? He explores the possibility that humanity's happiness is not necessarily part of God's plan. Much of Leibniz's thinking in the realm of the sciences flowed from his philosophy-he believed the universe to operate under simple, intelligible, interconnected rules. Understanding how he approached the metaphysical world and humanity's place in it is vital to understanding his contributions to modern science.