Leibniz: Philosophy in an Hour
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Philosophy for busy people. Read a succinct account of the philosophy of Leibniz in just one hour.
Leibniz was the first great German philosopher to produce an all-embracing philosophical system. He came to the remarkable conclusion that space and time do not exist – they are mere superstitious assumptions. Only things exist and only God is able to see things as they truly are – from a perspectiveless viewpoint. Yet the infinite of ultimate objects that make up the world (‘monads’) are not material: they are metaphysical and thus not subject to the laws of cause and effect. Their apparent interaction is the result of a ‘pre-established’ harmony that is part of God’s creation.
Here is a concise, expert account of Leibniz’s life and philosophical ideas that is entertainingly written and easy to understand. Also included are selections from Leibniz’s work, suggested further reading, and chronologies that place Leibniz in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.
‘Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them . . .I find them hard to stop reading.’ New York Times
‘Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise’ Wall Street Journal
‘Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character . . . I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.’ Boston Globe
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About the author
Paul Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many publications including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy was earned at Trinity College, Dublin.