photo credits: CCPDMark
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
German mathematician and philosopher
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1646

1716
movement:
rationalism
country of citizenship:
Holy Roman Empire, Germany
educated at:
Ehemaliges MelanchthonGymnasium in Altdorf bei Nürnberg, Leipzig University, University of Jena, Alte Nikolaischule
occupation:
mathematician, jurist, physicist, philosopher, diplomat, historian, librarian, musicologist, translator, music theorist, writer, diplomatista
award received:
Fellow of the Royal Society, Leibniztempel, LeibnizDenkmal, Leibniz monument
position held:
Geheimrat
student of:
Jakob Thomasius
influenced by:
Plato, Blaise Pascal, Giordano Bruno, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, Aristotle, Christiaan Huygens, Moshe ben Maimon, Confucius, Francisco Suárez, Nicholas of Cusa, Nicolas Malebranche, Jacob Bernoulli, Baruch Spinoza, René Descartes, Augustine of Hippo, Jakob Thomasius, Anselm of Canterbury, Nicolaus Steno, Erhard Weigel, Johann Amos Comenius, Plotinus, Ramon Llull, Hypatia, Pierre Gassendi, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Duns Scotus, JacquesBénigne Bossuet, Ibn Tufayl
Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (; German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]; French: Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz; 1 July 1646 [O.S. 21 June] – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and philosopher in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. His most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton's contemporaneous developments. Mathematical works have always favored Leibniz's notation as the conventional expression of calculus, while Newton's notation became unused. It was only in the 20th century that Leibniz's law of continuity and transcendental law of homogeneity found mathematical implementation (by means of nonstandard analysis). He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first massproduced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is the foundation of all digital computers.
In philosophy, Leibniz is most noted for his optimism, i.e. his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created, an idea that was often lampooned by others such as Voltaire. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17thcentury advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence.
Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in philosophy, probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. He wrote works on philosophy, politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Leibniz also contributed to the field of library science. While serving as overseer of the Wolfenbüttel library in Germany, he devised a cataloging system that would serve as a guide for many of Europe's largest libraries. Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, but primarily in Latin, French, and German. There is no complete gathering of the writings of Leibniz translated into English.
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series
0works
12Discourse on Metaphysics
book by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
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author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1686
New Essays on Human Understanding
book by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
wd:Q2720221
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1765
De Arte Combinatoria
scientific book by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
wd:Q3020291
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1666
Monadology
literary work by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
wd:Q1211539
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1720
Filosofisia tutkielmia
Finnish translations of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's works
wd:Q11859583
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Nova Methodus pro Maximis et Minimis
book by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
wd:Q16934224
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1684
Protogaea
Work by Gottfried Leibniz on geology and natural history
wd:Q19654674
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
1749
Principes de la Nature et de la Grâce
inv:026a1856df319a2fe3c14c4db64801ec
author:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
articles
1Lettre sur la question si l’essence du corps consiste dans l’étendue ( 1691 )
texte de Leibniz sur la mécanique des corps
author: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz