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Samuel Levey

Nicholas Jolley

Leibniz

Leibniz is one of the best known philosophers, but his work has had less attention than might be expected. In Leibniz Nicholas Jolley gives an introduction to the main points of Leibniz philosophy.

The book starts with a short account of Leibniz life, and then moves on to his philosophy of monads and the nature of mind and matter. Leibniz' idea that we live in the best of all. Jolley also explains Leibniz' views on human and divine freedom and the problem of evil. Leibniz' idea that we live in the best of all possible worlds was satirized by Voltaire, but Leibniz' worry seemed more about whether this allowed any freedom for the Creator. The final chapter looks at Leibniz' influence on later philosophy.

Jolley does a good job in bringing together work from many different places into a single book. In the end, however, the message I got was that Leibniz' philosophy is has little relevance to us today, or probably at any time. Hence it's hardly surprising that it hasn't had a lot of attention, and I'm not particularly motivated to find out any more about it. But if you do want to find out about Leibniz' philosophy then this book makes an excellent introduction.

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Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0415283388
Salesrank: 1569328
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2005 Routledge
Amazon price $30.32
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0415283388
Salesrank: 916487
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2005 Routledge
Amazon price £18.99
Marketplace:New from £14.49:Used from £12.50
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Paperback 272 pages  
ISBN: 0415283388
Salesrank: 967533
Weight:0.84 lbs
Published: 2005 Routledge
Amazon price CDN$ 35.57
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 25.29:Used from CDN$ 37.41
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Product Description
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was hailed by Bertrand Russell as 'one of the supreme intellects of all time'. A towering figure in seventeenth-century philosophy, his complex thought has been championed and satirized in equal measure, most famously in Voltaire's Candide.

In this outstanding introduction to his philosophy, Nicholas Jolley introduces and assesses the whole of Leibniz's philosophy. Beginning with an introduction to Leibniz's life and work, he carefully introduces the core elements of Leibniz's metaphysics: his theories of substance, identity and individuation; monads and space and time; and his important debate over the nature of space and time with Newton's champion, Samuel Clarke.

He then introduces Leibniz's theories of mind, knowledge, and innate ideas, showing how Leibniz anticipated the distinction between conscious and unconscious states, before examining his theory of free will and the problem of evil. An important feature of the book is its introduction to Leibniz's moral and political philosophy, an overlooked aspect of his work.

The final chapter assesses legacy and the impact of his philosophy on philosophy as a whole, particularly on the work of Immanuel Kant. Throughout, Nicholas Jolley places Leibniz in relation to some of the other great philosophers, such as Descartes, Spinoza and Locke, and discusses Leibniz's key works, such as the Monadology and Discourse on Metaphysics.

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