Leibniz Philosophical Essays Summary

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He also hoped his comprehensive philosophical system would serve as a common ground for uniting the determinedly divided Christian denominations in Europe.

Such irenic pursuits make Leibniz a unique transitional figure in the history of philosophy.

Boineburg appreciated Leibniz’s considerable talents and set before him the task of solving the day’s most pressing philosophical and theological questions.

Through his association with Boineburg, Leibniz began to see the challenges modern philosophy, especially the materialism of Gassendi and Hobbes, posed to belief in the immortality of the soul, to belief in God and natural law, and to both Catholic and Lutheran understandings of the Eucharist.

In 1672, Leibniz was dispatched to Paris on a diplomatic mission as well as on personal business for Boineburg.

Paris exposed Leibniz to learning, resources, and interlocutors the likes of which he had never seen.Leibniz was born on 1 July 1646, during the waning years of the Thirty Years’ War, in the Lutheran town of Leipzig.His father, Friedrich, was professor of moral philosophy at the University in Leipzig.Leibniz thus from 1668-70 began working on a number of preliminary studies meant to be part of a comprehensive work entitled Catholic Demonstrations.Though this dreamed-of magnum opus never materialized, Leibniz never abandoned his goal of developing a modern philosophy congenial to Christian theology.Leibniz stands out in this tradition, however, for his novel efforts to find compatibility between classical and modern thought.He retained ancient and scholastic notions such as substantial form and final cause, while at the same time attempting to improve upon the mechanical philosophies of Hobbes, Spinoza, and Descartes.Leibniz was tasked with reforming legal codes and statutes.During his time in Mainz, Leibniz struck up an important relationship with Baron Johann Christian von Boineburg, the central statesman in the Mainz court.Leibniz in hindsight found these youthful physical works unimpressive, but they attest to the diversity of his interests.Mainz opened Leibniz to an extraordinarily broad range of philosophical concerns; his most intense period of intellectual development soon followed.


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