The first major figure in the German Enlightenment was the brilliant Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

The first major figure in the German Enlightenment was the brilliant Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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The first major figure in the German Enlightenment was the brilliant  Gottfried Wilhelm  Leibniz  (1646–1716), who began his career in law but quickly moved out into other  fields. Mathematically, he was Newton’s equal, as the gentlemen both “discovered”  calculus  at the same time. Although the two would bicker for some time over proper  credit, a few elements of calculus have been attributed exclusively to Leibniz, such as  the idea of a function and the integral symbol. Foraying into metaphysics, Leibniz  proposed the idea that everything in the universe consisted of  monads , which he  conceived of essentially as “spiritual atoms” that constitute our perception of the world  but lack physical dimension. Unlike many figures in the French and English  Enlightenment, Leibniz was very religious and in fact saw monads as reflections of a  structured, harmonious universe—the work of a perfect God. 
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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The first major figure in the German Enlightenment was the brilliant Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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