Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

(3213 words)
  • Pauline Phemister (University of Edinburgh)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibinz was one of the most influential German philosophers of the seventeenth century. His analytic method laid the foundations of differential and integral calculus – the basis for modern mathematics – and his theory of the relation of matter to energy was so advanced that it can be seen to underlie quantum mechanics. He also made important contributions to epistemology and political theory. His work had an enormous impact on the philosophers Herder, Feuerbach and Hegel, and also on German prose of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, notably on Schiller and Goethe.

Leibniz was born in Leipzig on 21 June 1646 (new form 1 July 1646). His father, Professor Friedrich Leibnütz, a pious …

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Phemister, Pauline. "Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 April 2004
[, accessed 22 December 2014.]