Philosophy Now over Leibniz en een beetje Spinoza

Het magazine Philosophy Now, april-mei-nummer is uit en biedt diverse artikelen gratis te lezen aan. Het hoofdthema is THE NEW ATHEISM. Naast columns en reviews die gelezen kunnen worden is er ook een aardig artikel van Roger Caldwell over Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), mede n.a.v. van "Maria Rosa Antognazza’s magisterial new biography of Leibniz places him fully in the context of his time."

Ik citeer de passage over het contact van Leibniz met Spinoza:

"Leibniz’s concern to dissociate himself from any hint of atheism can also be seen in his reaction to the work of Spinoza. He met Spinoza on a visit to The Hague in 1676, and had protracted conversations with him over the course of a few days. He noticed that some of Spinoza’s purported demonstrations were not exactly right (although it’s unclear whether he told him so). Leibniz felt, surely correctly, that Spinoza’s system led to deism [God doesn’t supernaturally interfere with natural laws], but was uneasily aware that his own developing speculations pointed towards the same deterministic universe. That is, once God had set the world in operation, to act by universal laws, it seemed that the space for human freedom shrunk to nothing; even God himself became redundant, having done his creative work. Leibniz’s subsequent struggles to reconcile freedom and necessity resulted in much ingenuity of thought, but as with some of Chesterton’s Father Brown stories, the ingenuity sometimes comes at the expense of credibility."

Spinoza's systeem leidde overigens niet tot deïsme.

Maria Rosa Antognazza, Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2009, 623pp.

Zie hier bij Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews de bespreking van dit boek door Gregory Brown, University of Houston.

Ook in het artikel van Paul Cliteur, The Varieties of Atheist Experience (speelse verwijzing naar het boek van William James), wordt enige malen iets over Spinoza gezegd.