home | alphabetical index | |||||

## Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
He was born in Leipzig. He was a highly intelligent youth who entered Leipzig University at age 15. He graduated from there with a bachelor's degree in philosophy at 17 and with a doctorate in law at 20. Leibniz constructed the first mechanical calculator capable of multiplication and division. He also developed the modern form of the binary numeral system, used in digital computers. Some have speculated that it may be interesting to consider what might have resulted from Leibniz combining his findings in binary arithmetic with those developments he made in mechanical calculation.
Although there is some question of original authorship, Leibniz is credited along with Isaac Newton with inventing the infinitesimal calculus in the 1670s. According to his notes, a critical breakthrough in his work here occurred on November 11, 1675, when he demonstrated integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the y=x function. He introduced several notations used in calculus to this day, for instance the integral sign ∫ representing an elongated S from the Latin word Leibniz thought symbols to be very important for the understanding of things. He also tried to develop an alphabet of human thought, in which he tried to represent all fundamental concepts using symbols and combined these symbols to represent more complex thoughts. Leibniz never finished this.
His philosophical contribution to metaphysics is based on the Monadology, which introduces Monads as "substantial forms of being", which are akin to spiritual atoms, eternal, indecomposable, individual, following their own laws, not interacting ("windowless") but each reflecting the whole universe in pre-established harmony. In the way sketched above the notion of a monad solves the problem of the interaction of mind and matter that arises in Rene Descartes' system, as well as the individuation that seems problematic in Baruch Spinoza's system, which represents individual creatures as mere accidental modifications of the one and only substance. The
The statement that "we live in the best of all possible worlds" was regarded as amusing by Leibniz' contemporaries, notably François Marie Arouet de Voltaire who found it so absurd that he parodized him in his novel Leibniz is believed to be the first person to suggest that the concept of feedback was useful for explaining many phenomena in many different fields of study. ## Works- Monadologia (`The Monadology'), (1714)
- Théodicée (`Theodicy'), (1710)
- Nouveaux Essais sur L'entendement humaine (`New Essays on Human Understanding'), (1705)
- Discours de métaphysique (`Discourse on Metphysics') (1686)
- Hypothesis Physica Nova (`New Physical Hypothesis') (1671)
- De Arte Combinatoria (`On the Art of Combination') (1666)
## External Links
| |||||

copyright © 2004 FactsAbout.com |