G W Leibniz Philosophical Essays

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, one of the last real polymaths, was born in Leipzig. Educated there and at the Universities at Jena and Altdorf, he then served as a diplomat for the Elector of Mainz and was sent to Paris, where he lived for a few years and came into contact with leading scientists, philosophers, and theologians. During a trip to England, he was elected to the Royal Society; he made a visit to Holland to meet Spinoza. Back in Germany he became librarian to the Duke of Brunswick, whose library was the largest in Europe outside the Vatican. From there he became involved in government affairs in Hanover and later settled in Berlin at the court of Queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia. Leibniz was involved in the diplomatic negotiations that led to the Hanoverian succession to the English throne. From his university days he showed an interest in mathematics, logic, physics, law, linguistics, and history, as well as theology and practical political affairs. He discovered calculus independently of Newton and had a protracted squabble about which of them should be given credit for the achievement. The developer of much of what is now modern logic, he discovered some important physical laws and offered a physical theory that is close to some twentieth-century conceptions. Leibniz was interested in developing a universal language and tried to master the elements of all languages. Leibniz corresponded widely with scholars all over Europe and with some Jesuit missionaries in China. His philosophy was largely worked out in answer to those of other thinkers, such as Locke, Malebranche, Bayle, and Arnauld. Although he published comparatively little during his lifetime, Leibniz left an enormous mass of unpublished papers, drafts of works, and notes on topics of interest. His library, which has been preserved, contains annotations, analyses, and often refutations of works he read. The project of publishing all of his writings, undertaken in the 1920s by the Prussian Academy, was delayed by World War II but was resumed thereafter. It is not likely that the project will be completed in the twentieth century.

Roger Ariew is Professor of Philosophy, University of South Florida.

Daniel Garber is professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago.


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MY BOOKS:

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THE PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS OF PRÉMONTVAL (2018)



TERCENTENARY ESSAYS ON THE PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE OF LEIBNIZ (2017)



LEIBNIZ ON GOD AND RELIGION (2016)



LEIBNIZ'S MONADOLOGY (2014)



LEIBNIZ AND THE TWO SOPHIES (2011)



SHORTER LEIBNIZ TEXTS (2006)



LEIBNIZ REINTERPRETED (2006)






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For details of the abbreviations used throughout this site, click here.



LEIBNIZ LINKS:

LEIBNIZ - AN UNIVERSAL PHILOSOPHER
Leibnizian resources

LEIBNIZ RESOURCES AT UMKC
Leibniz electronic mailing list, maintained by George Gale

GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ
Leibniz biography and weblinks

LEIBNIZ'S ETHICS
An article by Andrew Youpa, from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS
Donald Rutherford's site

THE LEIBNIZ - BOUVET CORRESPONDENCE
English translations (by Berkowitz and Cook) of this important correspondence

EARLY MODERN TEXTS
Jonathan Bennett's collection of texts from early modern philosophy

LEIBNIZ BRASIL
Brazilian Leibniz site, with Portugese translations and Leibniz links

SOCIEDAD ESPAÑOLA LEIBNIZ
Spanish Leibniz Society

EPISTEME LINKS
Philosophy resources on the internet

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ - PHILOSOPHY PAGES
Leibniz information and links

NODEWORKS DIRECTORY
Philosophy links

INTUTE
Best of the web: Arts & Humanities

AN INTRODUCTION TO LEIBNIZ
A discussion of the validity and meaning of the major Leibnizian points of argument

PHILOSOPHY ON THE INTERNET
A huge web directory, with some Leibniz links

GOTTFRIED LEIBNIZ
Wikipedia entry

THE CHICAGO AREA CONSORTIUM ON GERMAN PHILOSOPHY
Links to sites on Leibniz and other German philosophers






The pages of this website have been validated




Welcome to leibniz-translations.com. On this site you will find English translations of various papers by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), including many not previously available in English. The site is usually updated every 4 months or so (last update: January 2018).

What's new:

  1. Leibniz to ???, on the Cartesian demonstration of the existence of God (after May 1700)new
  2. On Salvation Outside the Visible Church (1702?)new
  3. Draft Preface to the #2 (early 1707?)new
  4. Leibniz to Friedrich Wilhelm Bierling (10 Nov. 1710)new

There are currently translations of around 180 texts on this site. The full list is given further down this page. Alternatively, if you are searching for texts within a particular area of Leibniz's thought, select one of the options below for a list of available texts in that area.

Texts on this site fall into one of the following categories:

METAPHYSICS
MIND, BODY AND SOUL
FREE WILL AND NECESSITY
SCIENCE
POLITICS, LAW AND ETHICS
THEOLOGY


Please note: The translations presented here are original and therefore copyrighted. If passages are quoted (in essays, dissertations, theses or other works, written or otherwise) then references must be made in the proper academic way. That is, the quoted passages must be attributed to the author, and the source of the translation (i.e. this website) must be cited. No more than 5% of these translations can be reproduced elsewhere without permission of the author.




 ESSAYS, PAPERS AND PROJECTS: (in chronological order) 

*** = new addition

  • On the Incarnation of God, Or, On The Hypostatic Union (1669 - 1670(?))
  • Trinity. Mind. (spring - autumn 1671)
  • The Philosopher's Confession (autumn 1672 - winter 1672/3?)
  • On Polygamy (4 Oct. 1675)
  • Notes on Henry More's (spring - summer 1676?)
  • That a Most Perfect Being Exists (18-21 November (?) 1676)
  • Notes on Metaphysics (Dec. 1676)
  • Cartesianism, the Antechamber of the True Philosophy (1677?)
  • Demonstration That God Understands All Possibles (1677?)
  • Existence (1677?)
  • On Indifference of Equilibrium (1677 (?))
  • On the Necessity of Choosing The Best (1677?)
  • On the Obligation to Believe (1st half of 1677?)
  • Notes On Henry More's (Jan. 1677 - Jan. 1678?)
  • The Distinction of Mind And Body (early 1677 - early 1678?)
  • Inopportune Reflections on Human Misery (1677-1716?)
  • How the Soul Acts on the Body (early 1677 - early 1678?)
  • On Distinct Perception (Oct. 1677 - Dec. 1678 (?))
  • Analysis Of Abbé Lanion's (summer 1678 - winter 1680/1681?)
  • On Natural Law (summer 1678 - winter 1680/1)
  • The Physical Origin of Circumcision (1679 - 1685 (?))
  • On an Instrument or Great Art af Thinking (March - April 1679 (?))
  • On Public Happiness (1680?)
  • On Freedom And Grace (summer 1680 - summer 1684?)
  • On Necessity And Contingency (summer 1680 - summer 1684?)
  • On Consciousness And Memory (1683-5(?))
  • On What Is Absurd, False, And Problematic In Descartes (1683-1685 (?))
  • On The Animal's Soul (1683 - 1685?)
  • Pleasure. An Observation Against Descartes (summer 1683 - winter 1685/1686?)
  • Notes On Malebranche's (May 1684 - end 1684?)
  • Definitions (1685-1696?)
  • Theological Propositions (autumn 1685 - spring 1686 (?))
  • On Rejecting The Particular Will Of God (winter 1685/1686 (?))
  • A Vindication Of Divine Justice And Human Freedom (early 1686 (?))
  • On The General Relation of All Things (Apr. - Oct. 1686 (?))
  • On Symbols And The Characteristic Art (summer 1688 (?))
  • Body Is Not A Substance (Mar. 1689 - Mar. 1690 (?))
  • On The Cessation of Distinct Thoughts Without The Extinction Of The Soul (Mar. 1689 - Mar. 1690 (?))
  • On The System of Occasional Causes (Mar. 1689 - Mar. 1690 (?))
  • The Origin of Contingent Truths (summer 1689?)
  • 24 Metaphysical Theses (1690s (?))
  • Notes On Isaac Papin's (after 1690?)
  • Protogaea §§1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 20, 25, 26, 35 & 39 (1690-91)
  • Notes on Denis Petau's (1691 - 1695 ?)
  • Reading Notes on Nicolas Aubin's (1693)
  • On Mary Stuart And Popess Joan (not before 1693)
  • Reading Notes on (1694)
  • On the Ignorant And the Able (c. 1694)
  • On Reason And Divination (1694-97?)
  • On Man, Beatitude, God And Christ (1694-1696?)
  • On Progress to Infinity (c. 1694-1696)
  • Double Infinity in Pascal And Monad (after 1695?)
  • Theodicaea (1695-97)
  • On The Ultimate Origination of Things (23 Nov. 1697)
  • On Some Books Concerning the Apocalypse (not later than spring 1698)
  • On The Time of Purification (not later than spring 1698)
  • Reflections on Locke's Second Reply (end(?) 1699 - early 1700)
  • Demonstrations Concerning The Immense And Eternal Universe (1701)
  • Notes on Pierre Bayle's article "Epicurus" (1702?)
  • Notes on Pierre Bayle's , article 'Origen' (1702)
  • Notes on Pierre Bayle's , article 'Paulicians' (1702)
  • On Salvation Outside the Visible Church (1702?)***
  • Explanation of Binary Arithmetic (1703)
  • Notes On Isaac Jacquelot's (early 1704?)
  • Notes And Comments on Stephen Nye's (27 Mar. 1705)
  • Note on the Rocks Which Contain Dried Out Plants And Fish (1706)
  • On a Talking Dog (1706)
  • Notes on Pierre Bayle's , article 'Chrysippus' (1706)
  • Draft Preface to the (early 1707?)
  • Draft Preface to the #2 (early 1707?)***
  • A Note About The Light That Some Call Aurora Borealis (1710)
  • Critical Remarks on Abbé Bucquoi's Discours sur l'existence de Dieu (28 Nov. 1711)
  • Some Remarks Made While Leafing Through the Letter "A" of Bayle's (May 1714 (?))
  • Revolution (1715)



 LETTERS: (in chronological order) 



In addition to all of the above, portions of a further 16 texts - offcuts from my anthology - are available by clicking here or the picture of the front cover to the book (at the top of this page).

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