Leibniz & Clarke: A Study of Their Correspondence
Oxford University Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 250 pages
The correspondence between Leibniz and Samuel Clarke was the most influential philosophical exchange of the eighteenth century, and indeed one of the most significant such exchanges in the history of philosophy. Carried out in 1715 and 1716, the debate focused on the clash between Newtonian and Leibnizian world systems, involving disputes in physics, theology, and metaphysics. The letters ranged over an extraordinary array of topics, including divine immensity and eternity, the relation of God to the world, free will, gravitation, the existence of atoms and the void, and the size of the universe.
This penetrating book is the first to offer a comprehensive overview and commentary on the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence. Building his narrative around general subjects covered in the exchange--God, the soul, space and time, miracles and nature, matter and force--Ezio Vailati devotes special attention to a question crucial for Leibniz and Clarke alike. Both philosophers, worried by the advance of naturalism and its consequences for morality, devised complex systems to counter naturalism and reinforce natural religion. However, they not only deeply disagreed on how to answer the naturalist threat, but they ended up seeing in each other's views the germs of naturalism itself. Vailati rigorously tracks the twists and turns of this argument, shedding important new light on a critical moment in modern philosophy.
Lucid, taut, and energetically written, this book not only examines the Leibniz-Clarke debate in unprecedented depth but also situates the views advanced by the two men in the context of their principal writings. An invaluable reference to a fascinating exchange of ideas, Leibniz and Clarke makes vital reading for philosophers and historians of science and theology.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
absolute space agent argued atoms attributes Bayle body Buridan's ass Cambridge Caroline causal cause chap Clarke and Leibniz Clarke's argument Clarke's position Clarke's reply Clarke's views Collins consciousness consequently Conti correspondence Cosmological Argument creatures criticism denied Descartes divine divine simplicity Dynamica Dynamicum edition effect entails Essays eternity existence explain extended finite God's GP VII gravitation Identity of Indiscernibles immaterial immensity Indiscernibles indivisible inertia infinite Isaac Newton issue Johann Bernoulli Koyré laws of nature Leib Leibniz and Clarke Leibniz claimed Leibniz-Clarke Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence Leibniz's views Leibnizian letter Locke Locke's Malebranche metaphysical mind miracles motion motive force move necessitarianism necessity Newton Newtonian niz's objection Oxford particles philosophical physical possible preestablished harmony Principia Principle of Sufficient quantity of matter relation Samuel Clarke scholium sense sensorium soul Spinoza substance Sufficient Reason Theodicy theological things thought tion University Press vis Viva volition