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The Leibniz Review

Volume 21, December 2011

David Lay Williams
Pages 1-8

Patrick Riley’s Leibniz

This essay clarifies Patrick Riley’s account of G. W. Leibniz by placing Leibniz’s moral and political doctrines in historical perspective. By understanding Leibniz’s practical philosophy as a solution to the same problems confronted by Thomas Hobbes, one can appreciate the originality and appeal of Riley’s Leibniz — with its emphasis on benevolence and Platonic ideas. By drawing attention to Leibniz’s practical works, Riley has resurrected an important voice in the history of political thought that had been long neglected. The essay concludes with some personal remarks about Riley’s own Leibnizian charity.

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