Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



Born  1 July 1646 Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony

Died  14 November 1716 
(aged 70)
Era  17thcentury philosophy 
Region  Western Philosophy 
Doctoral advisor  Erhard Weigel 
Doctoral students  Jacob Bernoulli Christian von Wolff 
Main interests

Metaphysics, Mathematics, Theodicy 
Notable ideas

Infinitesimal calculus, Monadology, Theodicy, Optimism Leibniz formula for pi Leibniz harmonic triangle Leibniz formula for determinants Leibniz integral rule Principle of sufficient reason Diagrammatic reasoning Notation for differentiation Proof of Fermat's little theorem Kinetic energy Entscheidungsproblem 
Influences


Signature  
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (also Leibnitz or von Leibniz) 1 July 1 (21 June OS) 1646 – 14 November 1716) was a German intellectual who wrote mostly in French and Latin. He played an important role in both philosophy and mathematics. He invented calculus independently of Newton, and his notation is the one in general use since then. He also invented the binary system, foundation of modern computers.
He was taught law and philosophy. He served as secretary to two major German noble houses: one became the British royal family while he served it. Leibniz played a major role in the European politics and diplomacy of his day.
In philosophy, he is most remembered for optimism. He thought our universe is the best possible one God could have made. He was one of the great 17th century rationalists. René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza are the other two. His philosophy also both looks back to the Scholastic tradition and anticipates modern logic and analysis.
Leibniz also made contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated ideas which surfaced much later in biology, medicine, geology, probability theory, psychology, and information science. He wrote on politics, law, ethics, theology, history, and philology. Sometimes he even wrote in verse. His contributions are scattered in journals and in tens of thousands of letters and unpublished manuscripts. There is no complete edition of Leibniz's writings, and a complete account of his accomplishments is not yet possible.
Images for kids

A diagram of I Ching hexagrams sent to Leibniz from Joachim Bouvet. The Arabic numerals were added by Leibniz.

Commercium philosophicum et mathematicum (1745), a collection of letters between Leibnitz and Johann Bernoulli