Leibniz Discourse on Metaphysics- An introduction

In this first of a series of readings of the Discourses on Metaphysics (1686), we are introduced to the deeper philosophical and scientific ideas of the polymath genius Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716).

This reading will cover the essential concepts of the nature of the Creator and creation of which we as self-conscious reasoners are integral components possessing both “subjective” as well as “objective” characteristics. Leibniz’s essential principles of reasoning are laid down in these first 12 of 36 sections of his famous essay- including how the mind can conceptualize the most reasonable idea of a Creator which must be both maximally good, reasonable and perfectible rather than simply all powerful as his enemies among the British Royal Society maintain.

Leibniz also lays down the groundwork for why we must have been created in God’s image, and how the empiricist school then dominated by the theories of Newton, Hobbes, Locke, and Descartes have fatal flaws that would handicap the creative, and moral powers of anyone trapped within its cage of blind assumptions and rules of logic.

Supplementary information

The Discourse on Metaphysics (full text)

Cynthia Chung’s Class on the Leibniz vs Clark Correspondence

A dossier of Leibniz’s original works hosted on the Rising Tide Foundation

Venice and Leibniz: A Battle for the Science of Economy