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The Shorter Leibniz Texts

A Collection of New Translations
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    作者(群): von Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Fr
    譯者: Strickland, Lloyd
    出版社: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    ISBN: 9780826489517
    出版年份: 2006
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  • 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 functions as an excellent introductory text for students approaching Leibniz for the first time. By focusing on Leibniz's numerous shorter philosophical writings rather than his lengthy and/or impenetrable pieces, this volume aims to be more 'student friendly' than rival anthologies of Leibniz's work. Editor-translator, Lloyd Strickland contributes an introduction explaining the background and content. The translations themselves are drawn from the key areas of Leibniz's thought and categorised accordingly. And as the texts are selected from throughout Leibniz's career, and on a range of topics, together they provide a balanced picture of Leibniz's philosophy. The book will be sufficient in itself for Leibniz students, and will prepare them for other, more difficult volumes of his work.
    As many of the selections appear in English for the first time ever (although all the translations will be original), the book will be of great value to more advanced students, and to specialists in Leibniz studies.

Contents
Acknowledgements xv
Selected Bibliography xvii
Introduction 1
A note on the translations 24
I. METAPHYSICS
A. Creation 29
1. On first truths (middle-end 1680) 29
2. On the reason why these things exist rather than
other things (March-August 1689) 30
3. On the ultimate origination of things (23
November 1697) 31
4. Letter to Johann Christian Schulenburg (29
March 1698) 38
5. Letter to Andre Morell (4/14 May 1698) 39
B. Truth and Substance 40
1. On the perfect concept of substances (1677?) 40
2. The principle of human knowledge (winter
1685/1686?) 41
3. Remarks on Mr Arnauld's letter concerning my
proposition: that the individual concept of each
person contains once and for all everything that
will ever happen to him (May 1686) 43
4. Letter to Antoine Arnauld (4/14 July 1686) 47
5. Logical-metaphysical principles (spring-autumn
1689?) 48
6. On body and substance truly one (March 1690) 52
7. Letter to Pierre Dangicourt (1716) 54
II. MIND, BODY AND SOUL
A. Souls and Their Nature 61
1. Difficulties concerning the nature and origin of
souls (summer 1683-winter 1684/1685) 61
2. Souls are either created every day or are coeval
with the world (summer 1683-winter
1684/1685?) 62
3. On the creation of souls and the origin of minds
(summer 1683-winter 1684/1685?) 62
4. On the souls of men and beasts (1710?) 63
B. The Relationship Between Soul and Body 68
1. On the system of occasional causes (March
1689-March 1690?) 68
2. New system of the nature of the communication
of substances, as well as the union that exists
between the soul and the body (27 June 1695) 68
3. Clarification of the 'New system of the
communication of substances' (3 January
1696) 77
C. The Fate of Souls 79
1. Letter to Electress Sophie (4 November 1696) 79
2. Letter to Electress Sophie (6 February 1706) 81
III. FREE WILL AND NECESSITY
A. The Nature of Free Will 91
1. On free will (summer 1678-winter
1680/1681?) 91
2. On freedom and spontaneity (after 1690) 94
3. Conversation about freedom and fate
(1699-1703?) 95
B. Contingency and Necessity 104
1. Middle knowledge (November 1677) 104
2. On freedom from necessity in choosing (summer
1680-summer 1684) 105
3. A note on freedom and necessity (1680-1684) 110
4. On contingency (spring-autumn 1689?) 110
5. Notes on Pierre Bayle's Reply to the Questions from
a Provincial (1706) 113
IV. SCIENCE
A. Matter and Body 119
1. A demonstration against atoms taken from the
contact of atoms (23-24 October 1690) 119
2. Whether the essence of body consists in
extension (18 June 1691) 123
3. Letter to Johann Bernoulli (August-September
1698?) 126
4. Letter to Burcher de Voider (24 March/3 April
1699) 126
5. Letter to Thomas Burnett (2 February 1700) 128
6. Letter to Burcher de Voider (30 June 1704) 129
B. The Laws of Nature 131
1. On a general principle useful in explaining the
laws of nature through a consideration of the
divine wisdom (July 1687) 131
2. Letter to Pierre Bayle (1702?) 134
3. Letter to Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (7 April
1703) 136
C. Biology 138
1. On the origin of fossils (late 1670s?) 138
2. Protogaea (selections) (1691-1693) 140
3. Letter from G. W. Leibniz (1710) 142
V. LAW AND ETHICS
A. Law 149
1. Preface to the Diplomatic Code of People's Rights
(1693) 149
2. On the death penalty (after 10 July 1697) 152
3. Expiation (1707-1710) 154
B. Virtue 157
1. On generosity (1686-1687?) 157
2. Letter to Electress Sophie (mid-August (?)
1697) 160
3. Definitions (1701-1705?) 164
4. The true piety (before 1710?) 164
C. Pleasure and Happiness 166
1. On the happy life (spring-autumn 1676) 166
2. Happiness (1694-1698) 167
3. A dialogue (after 1695?) 170
VI. THEOLOGY
A. The Existence of God 181
1. On the reality of truth (August 1677) 181
2. On necessary or eternal truths (August 1677) 182
3. A proof of the existence of God from his essence
(January 1678) 183
4. Letter to the editor of the Journal de Trévoux (end
of June 1701) 187
B. Optimism and Meliorism 189
1. The elements of true piety (early 1677-early
1678?) 189
2. On the continuous increase in the perfection of
the world (March 1689-March 1690?) 195
3. Whether the world increases in perfection
(1694-1696?) 196
4. Letter to Andre Morell (29 September 1698) 197
5. Letter to Louis Bourguet (5 August 1715) 198
6. Letter to Louis Bourguet (mid-to-late March
1716) 198
7. Letter to Louis Bourguet (3 April 1716) 199
8. Letter to Louis Bourguet (2 July 1716) 200
C. Sin and Evil 201
1. On sin and original sin (April-October 1686?) 201
2. Can the bad outcomes of wicked actions be
ascribed to wickedness? (1696-1697?) 204
3. Letter to Isaac Jacquelot (6 October 1706) 207
4. Letter to Louis Bourguet (late 1712) 207
Index 211