By Maria Rosa Antognazza
Reference: Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 148 pp. ISBN 9780198718642.
Author: Antognazza, Maria Rosa. Professor of Philosophy, King’s College London.
This Very Short Introduction outlines the central features of Leibniz’s philosophy in the context of his overarching intellectual vision and aspirations. Against the backdrop of Leibniz’s encompassing scientific ambitions, it introduces the fundamental principles of Leibniz’s thought, as well as his theory of truth and theory of knowledge. Exploring Leibniz’s contributions to logic, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics, it considers how his theories sat alongside his concerns with politics, diplomacy, and a broad range of practical reforms: juridical, economic, administrative, technological, medical, and ecclesiastical. Discussing Leibniz’s theories of possible worlds, it concludes by looking at what is ultimately real in this actual world that we experience, the good and evil there is in it, and Leibniz’s response to the problem of evil through his theodicy.