Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Good Life in the Scientific RevolutionDescartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew L. Jones

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226409542

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226409566.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see http://www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 November 2017

Forms of Expression

Forms of Expression

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter Five Forms of Expression
Source:
The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226409566.003.0006

This chapter considers how Leibniz came to maintain that symbolic expression could constitute legitimate knowledge. It discusses how he produced his quadrature of the circle, the terms in which he defended his solution as legitimate knowledge, and some of the considerations about many larger philosophical and practical questions that he drew from it. The chapter suggests that Leibniz's great mathematical discovery of the quadrature and his defense of symbolic expression as legitimate mathematical knowledge became possible in part because of his practical attempts to create new symbolic and optical technologies that would permit human beings to see many things all at once. By tracking Leibniz's interest in these concrete techniques, we can better reconstruct how he developed some central concepts and practices in his mathematics and early philosophy, and we can understand less anachronistically the importance he attached to them. Drawing in part upon his mathematical solution of the quadrature and his arguments that this solution really was mathematical knowledge, Leibniz came to argue that bringing the soul and mind closer to God required a sophisticated deployment and involvement in the material processes of notation.

Keywords:   Leibniz, symbolic expression, mathematical knowledge, quadrature, circle

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.