Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Leibniz and the Monadology

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Leibniz and the Monadology

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Leibniz and the Monadology

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Leibniz and the Monadology

Excerpt

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born into an academic family in Leipzig in 1646, just before the end of the Thirty Years War. His father was Professor of Moral Philosophy there and his mother the daughter of a local Professor of Law. Descartes had died in 1650 before Leibniz was 4, and he was younger by 12 years than Spinoza and by 14 than Locke. By the time he was 20, he had precociously completed his own legal studies and written a doctoral thesis on the subject of hard cases at law (De casibus perplexis in jure). Turning down the offer of a university post before the age of 21, he preferred to enter public service in the courts of German principalities and within a few years of completing his studies had become Counsellor at the Supreme Court of the Elector of Mainz. After a period spent in Paris on diplomatic mission (between 1672 and 1676), he accepted an appointment as librarian in the service of the then Duke of Brunswick, Johann-Frederick. Then, in 1685, when that gentleman was succeeded by his brother Ernst-August, Leibniz

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