Talk:Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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"Secondary literature" moved from article to talk page[edit]

Secondary literature[edit]

Modern biographies in English are Aiton (1985) and Antognazza (2008). An 1845 English biography by John M. Mackie is available on Google Books. A lively short account of Leibniz’s life, one also taking a critical approach to his philosophy, is Mates (1986: 14–35), who cites the German biographies extensively. Also see MacDonald Ross (1984: chpt. 1), the chapter by Ariew in Jolley (1995), and Jolley (2005: chpt. 1). For a biographical glossary of Leibniz's intellectual contemporaries, see AG 350.

For a first introduction to Leibniz's thought, see the Introduction of any anthology of his writings in English translation, e.g., Wiener (1951), Loemker (1969a), Woolhouse and Francks (1998). Then turn to the monographs MacDonald Ross (1984), and Jolley (2005). For an introduction to Leibniz's metaphysics, see the chapters by Mercer, Rutherford, and Sleigh in Jolley (1995); see Mercer (2001) for an advanced study. For an introduction to those aspects of Leibniz's thought of most value to the philosophy of logic and of language, see Jolley (1995, chpts. 7, 8); Mates (1986) is more advanced. MacRae (Jolley 1995: chpt. 6) discusses Leibniz's theory of knowledge. For glossaries of the philosophical terminology recurring in Leibniz's writings and the secondary literature, see Woolhouse and Francks (1998: 285–93) and Jolley (2005: 223–29).



  • Aiton, Eric J., 1985. Leibniz: A Biography. Hilger (UK).
  • Antognazza, Maria Rosa, 2008. Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Brown, Gregory, 2004, "Leibniz's Endgame and the Ladies of the Courts," Journal of the History of Ideas 65: 75–100.
  • Hall, A. R., 1980. Philosophers at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Hostler, J., 1975. Leibniz's Moral Philosophy. UK: Duckworth.
  • Jolley, Nicholas, ed., 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • LeClerc, Ivor, ed., 1973. The Philosophy of Leibniz and the Modern World. Vanderbilt Univ. Press.
  • Loemker, Leroy, 1969a, "Introduction" to his Leibniz: Philosophical Papers and Letters. Reidel: 1–62.
  • Luchte, James, 2006, 'Mathesis and Analysis: Finitude and the Infinite in the Monadology of Leibniz,' London: Heythrop Journal.
  • Arthur O. Lovejoy, 1957 (1936). "Plenitude and Sufficient Reason in Leibniz and Spinoza" in his The Great Chain of Being. Harvard Uni. Press: 144–82. Reprinted in Frankfurt, H. G., ed., 1972. Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. Anchor Books.
  • MacDonald Ross, George, 1999, "Leibniz and Sophie-Charlotte" in Herz, S., Vogtherr, C.M., Windt, F., eds., Sophie Charlotte und ihr Schloß. München: Prestel: 95–105. English translation.
  • Perkins, Franklin, 2004. Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Riley, Patrick, 1996. Leibniz's Universal Jurisprudence: Justice as the Charity of the Wise. Harvard Univ. Press.
  • Strickland, Lloyd, 2006. Leibniz Reinterpreted. Continuum: London and New York


  • Adams, Robert M., 1994. Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. Oxford Uni. Press.
  • Bueno, Gustavo, 1981. Introducción a la Monadología de Leibniz. Oviedo: Pentalfa.
  • Louis Couturat, 1901. La Logique de Leibniz. Paris: Felix Alcan. Donald Rutherford's English translation in progress.
  • Ishiguro, Hide, 1990 (1972). Leibniz's Philosophy of Logic and Language. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Lenzen, Wolfgang, 2004. "Leibniz's Logic," in Gabbay, D., and Woods, J., eds., Handbook of the History of Logic, Vol. 3. North Holland: 1–84.
  • Mates, Benson, 1986. The Philosophy of Leibniz: Metaphysics and Language. Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Mercer, Christia, 2001. Leibniz's metaphysics: Its Origins and Development. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Robinet, André, 2000. Architectonique disjonctive, automates systémiques et idéalité transcendantale dans l'oeuvre de G.W. Leibniz: Nombreux textes inédits. Vrin
  • Rutherford, Donald, 1998. Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Wilson, Catherine, 1989. Leibniz's Metaphysics. Princeton Univ. Press.
  • Woolhouse, R. S., ed., 1993. G. W. Leibniz: Critical Assessments, 4 vols. Routledge. A remarkable one-stop collection of many valuable articles.

Online bibliography by Gregory Brown.

[end] [more from 'Collections' subsection]

  • Ariew, R; Garber, D (1989), Leibniz: Philosophical Essays, Hackett 
  • Bennett, Jonathan. Various texts.
  • Cook, Daniel, and Rosemont, Henry Jr., 1994. Leibniz: Writings on China. Open Court.
  • Dascal, Marcelo, 1987. Leibniz: Language, Signs and Thought. John Benjamins.
  • Loemker, Leroy (1969 (1956)), Leibniz: Philosophical Papers and Letters, Reidel  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Martin, R.N.D., and Brown, Stuart, 1988. Discourse on Metaphysics and Related Writings. St. Martin's Press.
  • Parkinson, G.H.R., 1966. Leibniz: Logical Papers. Oxford Uni. Press.
  • ———, and Morris, Mary, 1973. 'Leibniz: Philosophical Writings. London: J M Dent & Sons.
  • Riley, Patrick, 1988 (1972). Leibniz: Political Writings. Cambridge Uni. Press.
  • Strickland, Lloyd, 2006. Shorter Leibniz Texts. Continuum Books. Online.
  • Wiener, Philip (1951), Leibniz: Selections, Scribner  Regrettably out of print and lacks index.
  • Woolhouse, R.S., and Francks, R., 1998. Leibniz: Philosophical Texts. Oxford Uni. Press.


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Article Secondary Sources[edit]

I suggest adding this book by Meyer to the list of secondary sources on Leibniz. This book was used in the Ph.D candidates graduate program in intellectual history at N.Y.U. in the late Sixties. The professor was Frank Manuel. The book is Meyer, R. W., 1952. "Leibniz and the Seventeenth Century Revolution". Henry Regnery Company. Chicago. 217 pages.

It was originally written in German and published in Hamburg in 1948.

RobertBayers (talk) 18:59, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Similarity between marbles and computers?[edit]

At the end of the section on Computation, the following claim is made: "Modern electronic digital computers replace Leibniz's marbles moving by gravity with shift registers, voltage gradients, and pulses of electrons, but otherwise they run roughly as Leibniz envisioned in 1679."

I do not want to understate Leibniz's work on computing machines, but it seems somewhat of a stretch to suggest that there is a comparability, however "rough", between an (imagined) mechanical contraption and the workings of a digital computer as we know it now. It takes many levels of abstraction and the conscious exclusion of several crucial components of computing to claim a parallel between these two. I hesitate to remove the sentence, but perhaps some of the editors of this article should consider whether it adds any information to the paragraph or merely romanticizes Leibniz by slightly overplaying his footprint on current technology. K37b8e4fd (talk) 01:15, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

Philosopher and practical affairs of state[edit]

With the possible exception of Marcus Aurelius, no philosopher has ever had as much experience with practical affairs of state as Leibniz.
While I don't deny what seems to be the main point of this sentence, that he had a lot of experience with practical affairs of state: more than any other whosoever, only possibly excepting Marcus Aurelius? But then what about Cicero? Seneca? Aristotle as the teacher of Alexander? Or, though they are not chiefly known as philosophers, St. Thomas More, or Goethe? Or if we count him as a philosopher (which wouldn't mean appraising him; Marx certainly was a philosopher at any rate), Lenin? But chiefly, of course, Cicero.-- (talk) 15:53, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Infobox cleanup[edit]

I have cleaned the infobox ([1]), removing unmentioned entries per Template:Infobox philosopher: "Entries in influences, influenced, and notable ideas should be explained in the main text of one of the articles. Those that are not mentioned in the main text may be deleted." So I have kept the entries that are mentioned in and backed by the article.

It seems to me that there is also an overload of main_interests, 43 in total. I have trimmed those to 25 in a separate edit ([2]), again keeping only entries that are actually mentioned in the article. I think we should have about 10 at most. Any ideas for further trimming? - DVdm (talk) 07:36, 31 August 2017 (UTC)