A Miracle Creed: The Principle of Optimality in Leibniz's Physics and Philosophy

Citation:

McDonough, Jeffrey K. A Miracle Creed: The Principle of Optimality in Leibniz's Physics and Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.

Abstract:

This book introduces Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s Principle of Optimality and argues that it plays a central role his physics and philosophy, with profound implications for both. Each chapter begins with an introduction to one of Leibniz’s ground-breaking studies in natural philosophy, paying special attention to the role of optimal form in those investigations. Each chapter then goes on to explore the philosophical implications of optimal form for Leibniz’s broader philosophical system. Individual chapters include discussions of Leibniz’s understanding of teleology, the nature of bodies, laws of nature, and free will. The final chapter explores the legacy of Leibniz’s physics in light of his work on optimal form.

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