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Here's a thick book wrestling down many of the details of the life of a mind so wide-ranging as to beggar belief. Antognazza finds a strand of Leibniz's thought on which to string his dazzling array of conceptual adventures: namely, his devotion to creating a grand synthesis of not merely all human knowledge, but also all of the religious and political differences of his day. His project was to take the infinite diversity in his world and unify it under the simplest formulae, for utility and for [...]
I also read her "Very Short Introduction" to Leibniz (Oxford U. Press) before I finished this work, and, to be honest, I would recommend everyone read her little book first. Unless you've been reading a lot of Leibniz lately, you'll find her style and the content too dense, almost as if Antognazza wanted to stuff in as much as possible into this book. That said, and with a little introduction, it's by far the best in its class and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I doubt I'm her typical reader. I as [...]
This is the finest biography on Leibniz to date. Professor Antognazza shows mastery of the historical and philosophical literature on the "Last Universal Genius." You will notice how much I'm falling over myself to recommend this masterwork. Leibniz is worth everybody's time and this biography is the best place to begin.
I wanted a book that took me to a different time and place. I chose Leibniz because of my interest in math. (Biographies of Gauss and Euler are on my wish list.) I had read biographies of Newton and Kepler. Well, this book served that mission. What surprised me was how little of Leibniz' work had to do with math. His work covered a large variety of topics, but most of his time was devoted to philosophy and metaphysics, working on the seventeenth century analog of artificial intelligence. Of cour [...]
This one had to go back to the library- verdammte interlibrary loan prohibition on renewals.
Exceptionally dense and interesting review of this great mind, especially in the way she sees a theme and thread that runs throughout his life from the time he was young.