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Gottfried Leibniz: the last universal genius

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Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German seventeenth-century philosopher, an incredible logician, and one of the most important contributors to the philosophy of metaphysics, philosophical theology, mathematics, and ethics. His metaphysical career spanned over thirty years, and he was an inspiration to other contemporary philosophers from the Enlightenment period.Born in 1646 in Leipzig, Germany, Leibniz’s theories in metaphysics changed philosophy. One of his signature doctrines and particularly prominent theory, which disputed many others at the time, is about substance, monads, and pre-established harmony. He argues that the universe, and therefore humans, consist of only God and monads. Monads are ‘soul-like’ immaterial entities which exist as a substance in themselves. Monads cannot be broken down into smaller parts. Therefore, Leibniz argued, mind and body must be made of the same substance. He did maintain that though, according to his theory, the mind and body are separate from each other, they casually interact with each other.His metaphysical work in philosophy dealt with significant issues, posing theories and explanations for the problem of evil, the problem of free will, and the nature of space and time. The problem of evil and metaphysics absorbed his attention throughout his career; the significance he attributed to the topic can be seen through the extent of his writing, which spanned the course of his lifetime. As well as having written many short pieces, he wrote two important books dedicated to the problem of evil: The Philosopher’s Confession (1672) and Theodicy (1709), the only full-length book that he wrote in his career, which he completed just seven years before his death in 1716.In the period that Leibniz lived in, evil was not necessarily considered an argument for atheism, but rather an argument for a form of theism that was unorthodox. Thus, many contemporary philosophers argued, it was not the case that God could not exist. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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