Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr (baron) von Leibniz


Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr (baron) von Leibniz
born July 1, 1646, Leipzig, Saxony
died Nov. 14, 1716, Hannover, Hanover

German philosopher, mathematician, inventor, jurist, historian, diplomat, and political adviser.

He obtained a doctorate in law at age 20. In 1667 he began working for the elector of Mainz, in which position he codified the laws of the city, among other important tasks. He served the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg as librarian and councillor (1676–1716). In 1700 he helped found the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin and became its first president. Though he wrote voluminously, he published little during his lifetime. In metaphysics he is known for his doctrine of the monad, according to which reality is ultimately constituted of simple substances (monads), each consisting of nothing but perception and appetite. Though each state of a monad is the cause of its succeeding state and the effect of its preceding one, there are no causal relations between monads; the appearance of causal relations between substances is accounted for by the supposition of a "pre-established harmony" between the perceptual states of different monads. His principle of the identity of indiscernibles states that an individual x and an individual y are identical if and only if they share all the same intrinsic, non-relational properties. His Theodicy (1710) sought to reconcile the goodness of God with the existence of evil in the world by asserting that only God is perfect and that the actual world is the "best of all possible worlds." This view was famously mocked by Voltaire in his comic novel Candide. In mathematics, Leibniz explored the idea of a universal mathematical-logical language based on the binary number system (De arte combinatoria [1666]), though all the calculating devices that he later built used the decimal system. He discovered the fundamental theorem of calculus independently of Isaac Newton; the acrimonious dispute over priority left England mathematically backward for more than a generation before Leibniz's superior notation and methods were adopted. He also made important contributions to optics and mechanics. He is considered the last great polymath of Western civilization.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm — ▪ German philosopher and mathematician Introduction born July 1 [June 21, old style], 1646, Leipzig died November 14, 1716, Hannover, Hanover  German philosopher, mathematician, and political adviser, important both as a metaphysician and as a… …   Universalium

  • Wolff, Christian, Freiherr (baron) von — born Jan. 24, 1679, Breslau, Silesia died April 9, 1754, Halle, Prussia German philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. He was educated at the universities of Breslau, Jena, and Leipzig and was a pupil of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He wrote… …   Universalium

  • Wolff, Christian, Freiherr (barón) von — (24 ene. 1679, Breslau, Silesia–9 abr. 1754, Halle, Prusia). Filósofo, matemático y científico alemán. Se educó en las universidades de Breslau, Jena y Leipzig y fue alumno de Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Escribió numerosas obras sobre teología,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Freiherr — (as used in expressions) Krafft Ebing Richard Freiherr Baron von Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr baron von Leibniz Liebig Justus Freiherr baron von Wolff Christian Freiherr baron von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander Freiherr baron …   Universalium

  • baron — /bar euhn/, n. 1. a member of the lowest grade of nobility. 2. (in Britain) a. a feudal vassal holding his lands under a direct grant from the king. b. a direct descendant of such a vassal or his equal in the nobility. c. a member of the House of …   Universalium

  • Baron — /bann rddawonn /, n. Michel /mee shel /, (Michel Boyron), 1653 1729, French actor. * * * I Title of nobility, ranking in modern times immediately below a viscount or a count (in countries without viscounts). The wife of a baron is a baroness.… …   Universalium

  • von — /von/; Ger. /fawn/, unstressed /feuhn/, prep. from; of (used in German and Austrian personal names, originally to indicate place of origin and later to indicate nobility): Paul von Hindenburg. * * * (as used in expressions) Friedrich Leopold… …   Universalium

  • Wilhelm — /wil helm/; Ger. /vil helm/, n. a male given name, German form of William. * * * (as used in expressions) Bach Wilhelm Friedemann Baeyer Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Bessel Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann Wilhelm Brandt Bunsen Robert Wilhelm… …   Universalium

  • Gottfried — (as used in expressions) Benn Gottfried Bürger Gottfried August Ehrenberg Christian Gottfried Gottfried von Strassburg Herder Johann Gottfried von Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr baron von Leibniz * * * …   Universalium

  • Gottfried Leibniz — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophy era = 18th century philosophy color = #B0C4DE |250px image caption = Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz name = Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz birth = 1 July (21 June Old Style) 1646, Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony …   Wikipedia


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