75 found
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  1. Leibniz on Number Systems.Lloyd Strickland - 2024 - In Bharath Sriraman (ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Springer. pp. 167-197.
    This chapter examines the pioneering work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) on various number systems, in particular binary, which he independently invented in the mid-to-late 1670s, and hexadecimal, which he invented in 1679. The chapter begins with the oft-debated question of who may have influenced Leibniz’s invention of binary, though as none of the proposed candidates is plausible I suggest a different hypothesis, that Leibniz initially developed binary notation as a tool to assist his investigations in mathematical problems that were (...)
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  2. Leibniz's Monadology: A New Translation and Guide.Lloyd Strickland - 2014 - Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.
    A fresh translation and in-depth commentary of Leibniz's seminal text, the Monadology. -/- Written in 1714, the Monadology is widely considered to be the classic statement of Leibniz's mature philosophy. In the space of 90 numbered paragraphs, totalling little more than 6000 words, Leibniz outlines - and argues for - the core features of his philosophical system. Although rightly regarded as a masterpiece, it is also a very condensed work that generations of students have struggled to understand. -/- Lloyd Strickland (...)
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  3. Leibniz and the two Sophies: the philosophical correspondence.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz & Lloyd Strickland - 2011 - Toronto: Iter. Edited by Sophia, Sophie Charlotte & Lloyd Strickland.
    LEIBNIZ AND THE TWO SOPHIES is a critical edition of all of the philosophically important material from the correspondence between the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) and his two royal patronesses, Electress Sophie of Hanover (1630-1714), and her daughter, Queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia (1668-1705). In this correspondence, Leibniz expounds in a very accessible way his views on topics such as the nature and operation of the mind, innate knowledge, the afterlife, ethics, and human nature. The correspondence also contains the (...)
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  4. Leibniz on Binary: The Invention of Computer Arithmetic.Lloyd Strickland & Harry R. Lewis - 2022 - Cambridge, MA, USA: The MIT Press.
    The first collection of Leibniz's key writings on the binary system, newly translated, with many previously unpublished in any language. -/- The polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) is known for his independent invention of the calculus in 1675. Another major—although less studied—mathematical contribution by Leibniz is his invention of binary arithmetic, the representational basis for today's digital computing. This book offers the first collection of Leibniz's most important writings on the binary system, all newly translated by the authors with many (...)
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  5. The Shorter Leibniz Texts: A Collection of New Translations.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz & Lloyd Strickland - 2006 - London: Continuum. Edited by Lloyd Strickland.
    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 is intended to function as an introductory text for students.
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  6. Beyond Borders: Exploring Ubuntu as a Lived Philosophy.Emmanuel Chiwetalu Ossai & Lloyd Strickland - 2024 - Institute of Art and Ideas.
    ** This piece was originally titled "Beyond Borders: Exploring Ubuntu as a Lived Philosophy" but was later retitled "African thought can rescue Western philosophy" by the publisher. ** -/- Western philosophy is often abstract and disconnected from the real ethical problems we face today. Emmanuel Chiwetalu Ossai and Lloyd Strickland argue that the African philosophy of ubuntu, with its emphasis on community, interconnectedness, and practical application of ethical principles, offers a compelling alternative.
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  7. Leibniz encounters Maimonides.Lloyd Strickland - 2022 - In R. Moses Ben Maimon, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Walter Hilliger & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Leibniz' Anthology of Maimonides' Guide. New York: Shehakol Inc.. pp. 6-13.
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  8. Racism and Eurocentrism in Histories of Philosophy.Lloyd Strickland & Jia Wang - 2023 - Open Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):76-96.
    This paper examines the fortunes of non-European philosophies in histories of philosophy written by European and American philosophers from the 17th century to the present day. It charts the shift from inclusive histories of philosophy, which included non-European philosophies, to exclusive histories of philosophy, which excluded and/or marginalized non-European philosophies, at the end of the 18th century. This shift was motivated by racial Eurocentrism, which cast a long shadow over histories of philosophy written during the 19th and 20th centuries. The (...)
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  9. Leibniz on Eternal Punishment.Lloyd Strickland - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (2):307-331.
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  10. God's problem of multiple choice.Lloyd Strickland - 2006 - Religious Studies 42 (2):141-157.
    A question that has been largely overlooked by philosophers of religion is how God would be able to effect a rational choice between two worlds of unsurpassable goodness. To answer this question, I draw a parallel with the paradigm cases of indifferent choice, including Buridan's ass, and argue that such cases can be satisfactorily resolved provided that the protagonists employ what Otto Neurath calls an ‘auxiliary motive’. I supply rational grounds for the employment of such a motive, and then argue (...)
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  11. Leibniz’s Harmony between the Kingdoms of Nature and Grace.Lloyd Strickland - 2016 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 98 (3):302-329.
    One of the more exotic and mysterious features of Leibniz’s later philosophical writings is the harmony between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace. In this paper I show that this harmony is not a single doctrine, but rather a compilation of two doctrines, namely (1) that the order of nature makes possible the rewards and punishments of rational souls, and (2) that the rewards and punishments of rational souls are administered naturally. I argue that the harmony is (...)
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  12. Staying Optimistic: The Trials and Tribulations of Leibnizian Optimism.Lloyd Strickland - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):1-21.
    The oft-told story of Leibniz’s doctrine of the best world, or optimism, is that it enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the eighteenth century until the massive earthquake that struck Lisbon on 1 November 1755 destroyed its support. Despite its long history, this story is nothing more than a commentators’ fiction that has become accepted wisdom not through sheer weight of evidence but through sheer frequency of repetition. In this paper we shall examine the reception of Leibniz’s doctrine of (...)
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  13. The Philosophy of Sophie, Electress of Hanover.Lloyd Strickland - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (2):186 - 204.
    In philosophical circles, Electress Sophie of Hanover (1630-1714) is known mainly as the friend, patron, and correspondent of Leibniz. While many scholars acknowledge Sophie's interest in philosophy, some also claim that Sophie dabbled in philosophy herself, but did not do so either seriously or competently. In this paper I show that such a view is incorrect, and that Sophie did make interesting philosophical contributions of her own, principally concerning the nature of mind and thought.
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  14. Why Did Leibniz Invent Binary?Lloyd Strickland - 2023 - In Wenchao Li, Charlotte Wahl, Sven Erdner, Bianca Carina Schwarze & Yue Dan (eds.), »Le present est plein de l’avenir, et chargé du passé«. Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Gesellschaft e.V.. pp. 354-360.
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  15. Leibniz Reinterpreted.Lloyd Strickland - 2006 - London, UK: Continuum.
    Leibniz Reinterpreted tackles head on the central idea in Leibniz's philosophy, namely that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Strickland argues that Leibniz's theory has been consistently misunderstood by previous commentators. In the process Strickland provides both an elucidation and reinterpretation of a number of concepts central to Leibniz's work, such as 'richness', 'simplicity', 'harmony' and 'incompossibility', and shows where previous attempts to explain these concepts have failed. This clear and concise study is tightly focussed and assumes (...)
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  16. How Leibniz tried to tell the world he had squared the circle.Lloyd Strickland - 2023 - Historia Mathematica 62:19-39.
    In 1682, Leibniz published an essay containing his solution to the classic problem of squaring the circle: the alternating converg-ing series that now bears his name. Yet his attempts to disseminate his quadrature results began seven years earlier and included four distinct approaches: the conventional (journal article), the grand (treatise), the impostrous (pseudepigraphia), and the extravagant (medals). This paper examines Leibniz’s various attempts to disseminate his series formula. By examining oft-ignored writings, as well as unpublished manuscripts, this paper answers the (...)
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  17. Leibniz and Millenarianism.Lloyd Strickland & Daniel J. Cook - 2011 - In Beiderbeck F. & Waldhoff S. (eds.), Pluralität der Perspektiven und Einheit der Wahrheit im Werk von G. W. Leibniz. De Gruyter. pp. 77-90.
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  18. Determining the best of all possible worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2005 - Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (1):37-47.
    The concept of the best of all possible worlds is widely considered to be incoherent on the grounds that, for any world that might be termed the best, there is always another that is better. I note that underlying this argument is a conviction that the goodness of a world is determined by a single kind of good, the most plausible candidates for which are not maximizable. Against this I suggest that several goods may have to combine to determine the (...)
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  19. Leibniz's Monadological Positive Aesthetics.Pauline Phemister & Lloyd Strickland - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (6):1214-1234.
    One of the most intriguing – and arguably counter-intuitive – doctrines defended by environmental philosophers is that of positive aesthetics, the thesis that all of nature is beautiful. The doctrine has attained philosophical respectability only comparatively recently, thanks in no small part to the work of Allen Carlson, one of its foremost defenders. In this paper, we argue that the doctrine can be found much earlier in the work of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz who devised and defended a version of positive (...)
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  20. Leibniz's Tactile Binary Clock.Lloyd Strickland - 2023 - L.I.S.A. Wissenschaftsportal Gerdal Henkel Stiftung.
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  21. F Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Hexadecimal.Lloyd Strickland & Owain Daniel Jones - 2023 - The Mathematical Intelligencer 45:126-130.
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  22. Why Did Thomas Harriot Invent Binary?Lloyd Strickland - 2024 - Mathematical Intelligencer 46 (1):57-62.
    From the early eighteenth century onward, primacy for the invention of binary numeration and arithmetic was almost universally credited to the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716). Then, in 1922, Frank Vigor Morley (1899–1980) noted that an unpublished manuscript of the English mathematician, astronomer, and alchemist Thomas Harriot (1560–1621) contained the numbers 1 to 8 in binary. Morley’s only comment was that this foray into binary was “certainly prior to the usual dates given for binary numeration”. Almost thirty years later, (...)
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  23. God’s creatures? Divine nature and the status of animals in the early modern beast-machine controversy.Lloyd Strickland - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 74 (4):291-309.
    In early modern times it was not uncommon for thinkers to tease out from the nature of God various doctrines of substantial physical and metaphysical import. This approach was particularly fruitful in the so-called beast-machine controversy, which erupted following Descartes’ claim that animals are automata, that is, pure machines, without a spiritual, incorporeal soul. Over the course of this controversy, thinkers on both sides attempted to draw out important truths about the status of animals simply from the notion or attributes (...)
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  24. How Leibniz would have responded to the Lisbon earthquake.Lloyd Strickland - 2017 - In Julia Weckend, Erik Vynckier & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Tercentenary Essays in the Philosophy and Science of Leibniz. Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 257-278.
    On 1 November 1755, the city of Lisbon in Portugal was virtually destroyed by the largest documented seismic event ever to hit Europe. It is often claimed that the catastrophe severely damaged the plausibility of Leibniz’s optimism, and even the wider project of theodicy. Leibniz died several decades before the Lisbon earthquake struck, and so was unable to address it and the challenges thrown up by it, which would have included an account of how the event was consistent with God’s (...)
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  25. Philosophy and the Search for Truth.Lloyd Strickland - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1079-1094.
    Philosophy, as it is understood and practiced in the West, is and has been generally considered to be the search for truth. But even if philosophy is the search for truth, it does not automatically follow that those who are identified as ‘philosophers’ are themselves actually engaged in that search. And indeed, in this paper I argue that many philosophers have in fact not been genuinely engaged in the search for truth (in other words, many philosophers have not been doing (...)
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  26. Leibniz’s Philosophy of Purgatory.Lloyd Strickland - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3):531-548.
    As a lifelong Lutheran who resisted numerous attempts by Catholic acquaintances to convert him, one might reasonably expect Leibniz to have followedthe orthodox Lutheran line on disputed doctrinal issues, and thus held amongst other things that the doctrine of purgatory was false. Yet there is strong evidencethat Leibniz personally accepted the doctrine of purgatory. After examining this evidence, I determine how Leibniz sought to justify his endorsement of purgatory and explain how his endorsement sits alongside his frequent rehearsal of familiar (...)
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  27. Leibniz on whether the world increases in perfection.Lloyd Strickland - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (1):51 – 68.
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  28. How sincere was Leibniz’s religious justification for war in the Justa Dissertatio?Lloyd Strickland - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer (volume 5). Hildesheim: Georg Olms. pp. 401-412.
    This paper is concerned with Leibniz’s Egypt Plan, written in 1671 and 1672, when Leibniz was in the service of the Elector of Mainz. One of the aims of this paper is to offer a more balanced and plausible reading of the religious benefits of war that Leibniz outlines in his Egypt plan.
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  29. False Optimism? Leibniz, Evil, and the Best of all Possible Worlds.Lloyd Strickland - 2010 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 15 (1):17-35.
    Leibniz’s claim that this is the best of all possible worlds has been subject to numerous criticisms, both from his contemporaries and ours. In this paper I investigate a cluster of such criticisms based on the existence, abundance or character of worldly evil. As several Leibniz-inspired versions of optimism have been advanced in recent years, the aim of my investigation is to assess not just how Leibniz’s brand of optimism fares against these criticisms, but also whether optimism as a philosophy (...)
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  30. The reception of the Theodicy in England.Lloyd Strickland - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Leibniz, Caroline und die Folgen der englischen Sukzession. Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 69-91.
    Leibniz wished that his Theodicy (1710) would have as great and as wide an impact as possible, and to further this end we find him in his correspondence with Caroline often expressing his desire that the book be translated into English. Despite his wishes, and Caroline’s efforts, this was not to happen in his lifetime (indeed, it did not happen until 1951, almost 250 years after Leibniz’s death). But even though the Theodicy did not make quite the impact in England (...)
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  31. Tercentenary Essays on the Philosophy & Science of G.W. Leibniz.Lloyd Strickland, Erik Vynckier & Julia Weckend - 2017 - Cham: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This book presents new research into key areas of the work of German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). Reflecting various aspects of Leibniz's thought, this book offers a collection of original research arranged into four separate themes: Science, Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Religion and Theology. With in-depth articles by experts such as Maria Rosa Antognazza, Nicholas Jolley, Agustín Echavarría, Richard Arthur and Paul Lodge, this book is an invaluable resource not only for readers just beginning to discover Leibniz, but (...)
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  32. Two Lost Operations of Arithmetic: Duplation and Mediation.Lloyd Strickland - 2022 - Mathematics Today 65:212-213.
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  33. Heavenly creatures? Visions of animal afterlife in seventeenth-century England.Lloyd Strickland - 2022 - Journal of Religious History, Literature, and Culture 1 (8):1-24.
    This article offers an extensive study of the idea of an animal afterlife in seventeenth-century England. While some have argued that the idea of an animal afterlife became prevalent at the time due to increased awareness of animals’ mental abilities, others have suggested it was due to greater sensitivity to animal suffering and the perceived need to square this suffering with divine justice. I show that both views are incorrect, and that seventeenth-century thinking about an animal afterlife was first and (...)
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  34. An Unpublished Manuscript of Leibniz's on Duodecimal.Lloyd Strickland - 2022 - The Duodecimal Bulletin 1 (54z):26z-30z.
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  35. The Nineteenth Century Reception of Leibniz’s Examination of the Christian Religion.Lloyd Strickland - 2020 - Studia Leibnitiana 52 (1-2):42-79.
    Leibniz’s lengthy theological treatise, Examen religionis christianae, has long puzzled scholars. Although a lifelong Lutheran who spurned many attempts to convert him to Catholicism, in the Examen Leibniz defends the Catholic position on a range of matters of controversy, from justification of the sinner to transubstantiation, from veneration of images to communion under both kinds. Inevitably, when finally published in 1819, the Examen quickly became the focus of a heated and sometimes ill-tempered debate about Leibniz’s true religious commitments. For many, (...)
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  36. The use of scripture in the beast machine controversy.Lloyd Strickland - 2015 - In David Beck (ed.), Knowing Nature in Early Modern Europe. Brookfield, Vermont: Pickering & Chatto. pp. 65-82.
    The impression we are often given by historians of philosophy is that the readiness of medieval philosophers to appeal to authorities, such as The Bible, the Church, and Aristotle, was not shared by many early modern philosophers, for whom there was a marked preference to look for illumination via experience, the exercise of reason, or a combination of the two. Although this may be accurate, broadly speaking, it is notable that, in spite of the waning enthusiasm for deferring to traditional (...)
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  37. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.Lloyd Strickland - 2021 - Oxford Bibliographies 2.
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) was a universal genius, making original contributions to law, mathematics, philosophy, politics, languages, and many areas of science, including what we would now call physics, biology, chemistry, and geology. By profession he was a court counselor, librarian, and historian, and thus much of his intellectual activity had to be fit around his professional duties. Leibniz’s fame and reputation among his contemporaries rested largely on his innovations in the field of mathematics, in particular his discovery of the (...)
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  38. The " Fourth Hypothesis " on the Early Modern Mind-Body Problem.Lloyd Strickland - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:665-685.
    One of the most pressing philosophical problems in early modern Europe concerned how the soul and body could form a unity, or, as many understood it, how these two substances could work together. It was widely believed that there were three (and only three) hypotheses regarding the union of soul and body: (1) physical influence, (2) occasionalism, and (3) pre-established harmony. However, in 1763, a fourth hypothesis was put forward by the French thinker André-Pierre Le Guay de Prémontval (1716–1764). Prémontval’s (...)
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  39. On The Necessity Of The Best (Possible) World.Lloyd Strickland - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5.
    Many have argued that if God exists then he must necessarily create the best possible world , which entails that the bpw necessarily exists, and is therefore the only possible world. But without any scope for comparison, the superlative term ‘best’ is clearly inappropriate and so the bpw cannot be the bpw at all! As such, it must be impossible for God to create it. Hence if God exists then he must of necessity make something that is impossible to create! (...)
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  40. In the Beginning Was Binary.Lloyd Strickland - 2022 - Church Times 8322.
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  41. The problem of religious evil: Does belief in God cause evil?Lloyd Strickland - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (2):237-250.
    Daniel Kodaj has recently developed a pro-atheistic argument that he calls “the problem of religious evil.” This first premise of this argument is “belief in God causes evil.” Although this idea that belief in God causes evil is widely accepted, certainly in the secular West, it is sufficiently problematic as to be unsuitable as a basis for an argument for atheism, as Kodaj seeks to use it. In this paper I shall highlight the problems inherent in it in three ways: (...)
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  42. Leibniz’s Egypt Plan (1671–1672): from holy war to ecumenism.Lloyd Strickland - 2016 - Intellectual History Review 26 (4):461-476.
    At the end of 1671 and start of 1672, while in the service of the Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, Leibniz composed his Egypt Plan, which sought to persuade Louis XIV to invade Egypt. Scholars have generally supposed that Leibniz’s rationale for devising the plan was to divert Louis from his intended war with Holland. Little attention has been paid to the religious benefits that Leibniz identified in the plan, and those who do acknowledge them are often quick to downplay (...)
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  43. Do we Need a Plant Theodicy?Lloyd Strickland - 2021 - Scientia et Fides 9 (2):221-246.
    In recent decades, philosophers and theologians have become increasingly aware of the extent of animal pain and suffering, both past and present, and of the challenge this poses to God’s goodness and justice. As a result, a great deal of effort has been devoted to the discussion and development of animal theodicies, that is, theodicies that aim to offer morally sufficient reasons for animal pain and suffering that are in fact God’s reasons. In this paper, I ask whether there is (...)
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  44. Leibniz's Observations on Hydrology: An Unpublished Letter on the Great Lombardy Flood of 1705.Lloyd Strickland & Michael Church - 2015 - Annals of Science 72 (4):517-532.
    Although the historical reputation of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) largely rests on his philosophical and mathematical work, it is widely known that he made important contributions to many of the emerging but still inchoate branches of natural science of his day. Among the many scientific papers Leibniz published during his lifetime are ones on the nascent science we now know as hydrology. While Leibniz’s other scientific work has become of increasing interest to scholars in recent years, his thinking about hydrology (...)
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  45. The "Monadology".Lloyd Strickland - 2020 - In Paul Lodge & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Leibniz's Key Philosophical Writings: A Guide. Oxford, UK: pp. 206-227.
    Written in 1714, the “Monadology” is widely regarded as a classic statement of much of Leibniz’s mature philosophical system. In just 90 numbered paragraphs, Leibniz outlines—and argues for—the core features of his system, starting with his famous doctrine of monads (simple substances) and ending with the uplifting claim that God is concerned not only for the world as a whole but for the welfare of the virtuous in particular. This chapter begins by considering the circumstances of composition of the “Monadology” (...)
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  46. Racism, Chauvinism and Prejudice in the History of Philosophy.Lloyd Strickland - 2019 - Institute of Arts and Ideas.
    This piece was originally titled "Racism, Chauvinism and Prejudice in the History of Philosophy" but was later retitled "How Western Philosophy Became Racist" by the publisher.
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  47. Leibniz, purgatory, and universal salvation.Lloyd Strickland - 2017 - In Kristof Vanhoutte & Benjamin McCraw (eds.), Purgatory: Philosophical Dimensions. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 111-128.
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  48. Discourse on Metaphysics.Lloyd Strickland - 2020 - In Paul Lodge & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Leibniz's Key Philosophical Writings: A Guide. Oxford, UK: pp. 56-79.
    The “Discourse on Metaphysics” is widely considered to be Leibniz’s most important philosophical work from his so-called “middle period”. Written early in 1686, when Leibniz was 39 years old, it consolidates a number of philosophical ideas that he had developed and sketched out in the years beforehand in a host of short private essays, fragments, and letters. This chapter guides the reader through the key themes of the “Discourse”, such as God’s choice of the best, the nature of substance, final (...)
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  49. Leibniz vs. transmigration: a previously unpublished text from the early 1700s.Lloyd Strickland - 2017 - Quaestiones Disputatae 7 (2):139-159.
    In this paper, I analyze a previously unpublished Leibniz text from the early 1700s. I give it the title “On Unities and Transmigration” since it contains an outline of his doctrine of unities and an examination of the doctrine of transmigration. The text is valuable because in it Leibniz considers three very specific versions of transmigration that he does not address elsewhere in his writings; these are (1) where a soul is released by the destruction of its body and is (...)
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  50. Taking scripture seriously: Leibniz and the jehoshaphat problem.Lloyd Strickland - 2011 - Heythrop Journal 52 (1):40-51.
    Leibniz’s commitment to Christianity has been questioned for centuries; even today, some scholars claim that he was inclined towards deism or little more than a pagan metaphysician. Such an interpretation seems prima facie to be at odds with certain Christianized features of Leibniz's work, such as his decision to advance a solution to 'the Jehoshaphat problem', the problem of whether (or how) all the humans who have ever lived can simultaneously fit into the valley of Jehoshaphat. This problem has its (...)
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