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The Good Life in the Scientific RevolutionDescartes, Pascal, Leibniz, and the Cultivation of Virtue$
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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

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Seeing All at Once

Seeing All at Once

(p.229) Chapter Six Seeing All at Once
The Good Life in the Scientific Revolution
University of Chicago Press

This chapter highlights Leibniz's philosophy as a practice, first emphasizing his insistence on the materiality and palpability of his efforts to reform human knowledge. Second, it illustrates Leibniz's own philosophical activity: the inductive mathematics, experimental techniques, the excerpting of authors, and, especially, the writing up of manifold projects, many springing from a common set of heuristics and tools. The chapter combines the insights of recent studies on early-modern scholarly practices of reading and writing with concerns from the history of science about the place of writing and inscription in scientific work. Leibniz's philosophical practices were central means for cultivating himself. His vast written corpus was in part the product of this exercise and self-cultivation.

Keywords:   Leibniz, philosophy, practice, human knowledge, mathematics

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