The impact of the work of German mathematician GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ (1646-1716) on modern science and technology is all but incalculable, but for starters, his notation for infinitesimal calculus-which he developed independently of Newton-remains in use today, and his invention of binary counting is the basis for modern computing. He was a powerfully influential philosopher as well, and is still considered, alongside Descartes and Spinoza, one of the great 17th-century rationalists.With no complete edition of his numerous writings on the wide range of subjects he expounded upon available even today, this 1920 collection of his early mathematical manuscripts-as well as some third-party commentary on them-continues to be essential to anyone wishing to understand Leibniz's contributions to modern science.Here students of the history of science and math lovers alike will enjoy Leibniz's thoughts on the infinitesimal calculus, including a series of manuscripts from 1675, 1676, and 1677, plus the essays "Leibniz in London" and "Leibniz and Pascal" by German scholar C.I. Gerhardt.
This volume contains more than 60 original translations of papers written by the German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). As well as contributing to Leibniz scholarship, it is intended to function as an introductory text for students
The selections contained in these volumes from the papers and letters of Leibniz are intended to serve the student in two ways: first, by providing a more adequate and balanced conception of the full range and penetration of Leibniz's creative intellectual powers; second, by inviting a fresher approach to his intellectual growth and a clearer perception of the internal strains in his thinking, through a chronological arrangement. Much confusion has arisen in the past through a neglect of the develop ment of Leibniz's ideas, and Couturat's impressive plea, in his edition of the Opuscu/es et fragments (p. xii), for such an arrangement is valid even for incomplete editions. The beginning student will do well, however, to read the maturer writings of Parts II, III, and IV first, leaving Part I, from a period too largely neglected by Leibniz criticism, for a later study of the still obscure sources and motives of his thought. The Introduction aims primarily to provide cultural orientation and an exposition of the structure and the underlying assumptions of the philosophical system rather than a critical evaluation. I hope that together with the notes and the Index, it will provide those aids to the understanding which the originality of Leibniz's scientific, ethical, and metaphysical efforts deserve.