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Philosophical Texts

G. W. Leibniz
Edited and translated by R. S. Woolhouse, Richard Francks, and With Introduction and Notes by R. S. Woolhouse

Publication Date - May 1998

ISBN: 9780198751533

320 pages


Offering an invaluable introduction to Leibniz's philosophy, this volume collects many of his most important texts, beginning with the Discourse on Metaphysics (1686) and ending with the Monadology (1714). Also included in this work are critical reactions to Leibniz's work by his contemporaries (Antoine Arnauld, Pierre Bayle, and Simon Foucher), together with Leibniz's responses. The editors provide new English translations for all of the texts, preceding each with a summary explaining its background, structure, and content.

Table of Contents

    Part 1: Introductory Material
    How to Use this Book
    Editor's Introduction
    1. Introduction
    2. Substance and Matter
    3. Physics and Natural Science
    4. The Metaphysics of Causation
    5. The Union of Body and Mind
    6. Humans, Animals, and their Minds
    7. From God to the Best Possible World: Creation, Freedom, and the Community of Rational Minds
    8. Leibniz: Life and Influence
    The Texts Printed in this Edition
    Part 2: The Texts
    1. Discourse on Metaphysics (1686)
    2. Correspondence with Arnauld (1686-1687)
    3. Reflections on the Advancement of True Metaphysics (1694)
    4. New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication, and of the Union which Exists between the Body and the Soul (1695)
    5. Specimen Dynamicum: An Essay in Dynamics (1695)
    6. Reply of M. S.F. to M. de L.B.Z. on his System of the Communication between Substances (1695)
    7. Remarks on M. Foucher's Objections (1695)
    8. Explanation of the New System of the Communication between Substances (1696)
    9. Extract from a Letter Written by M. de Leibniz about his Philosophical Hypothesis (1696)
    10. Note H to Bayle's Dictionary Article `Rorarius' (1697)
    11. Leibniz's Comments on Note H to Bayle's Dictionary Article `Rorarius' (1705?)
    12. A Letter to the Editor, Containing an Explanation of the Difficulties which M. Bayle Found with the New System (1698)
    13. Nature Itself (1698)
    14. Note L to Bayle's Dictionary Article 'Rorarius' (1702)
    15. Leibniz's Comments on Note L to Bayle's Dictionary Article `Rorarius' (1705?)
    16. Reply to the Comments in the Second Edition of M. Bayle's Critical Dictionary, in the Article 'Rorarius', concerning the System of Pre-established Harmony (1702; published 1716) Harmony Contained in the Second Edition of the Critical Dictionary of M. Bayle (1702; published 1716)
    17. Draft Letters from Leibniz to Bayle (1702)
    18. Principles of Nature and Grace (1714)
    19. Monadology (1714)
    Part 3: Notes, Bibliography, and Index
    Bibliography and Further Reading