Gottfried Leibniz is one of the most influential and important European philosophers of the early modern period. Although he wrote no single comprehensive explanation of his philosophy, his contributions to areas of philosophical thought range from mathematics to cultural exchange. However, his ideas often seem strange and abstract and his tendency to harmonize different views can be hugely puzzling for the reader. Students of Lebniz's work and thought regularly face very particular intellectual challenges. "Leibniz: A Guide for the Perplexed" is a clear and thorough account of Lebniz's philosophy, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key philosopher. The book covers the whole range of Leibniz's thought, offering detailed examination of the key areas of his ideas, including the intersections between his metaphysics, epistemology, ethical and political thought and his famous claim that reality consists of monads (unities). Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of Leibniz's thought, the book provides a cogent and reliable survey of his work and ideas.
This is the ideal companion to the study of this most influential and challenging of philosophers.
Franklin Perkins is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University, Chicago, USA, and has published a number of books and articles on Leibniz.
Chapter One: Reading Leibniz; Chapter Two: God and the Best Possible World; 1. The Two Principles of Knowledge; 2. The Existence of God; 3. The Nature of God; 4. The Best of All Possible Worlds. Chapter Three: Substances; 1. Substance in Early Modern Philosophy; 2. The Simplicity and Unity of Substance in Leibniz; 3. Substances as Points of View on the Universe; 4. Interaction and Pre-Established Harmony; Chapter Four: Rational Minds; 1. Minute Perceptions and Levels of Awareness; 2. Necessary Truths and Innate Ideas; 3. Knowledge; 4. Identity and Choice; Conclusion.