You can cruise the biography links below, to find out more about the
fellow. They might tell you that he invented and built a calculating
machine, which indeed he did: here it is (or rather, here's a picture
of the thing):
Well, it's a bit small to read, I know; but you get the idea.
He scribbled like this in his room at Schmiedestraße Nr. 10 in Hannover,
up there on the second floor of what we lovingly call the Leibnizhaus:
If you don't care about all this old stuff, or about the philosophical
nature of the links below, then Leibniz -- or anyway, his namesake -- still
has something for you: he was a good philosopher, and Leibniz
Cookies are good cookies. Perhaps you can go off and eat cookies
-- some Leibniz Butter Cakes, say. If you collect coins, perhaps
you'll want to keep your eye out for the low-mintage German 5DM coin with
a swell likeness of Leibniz on the front.
...or old German postcards from the 'teens, showing WWI soldiers with
their beloved Leibniz-Keks. Here's a boat captain, with cookies nearby.
Or, if you don't like cookies but like to collect you could collect non-cookie related Leibniz collectibles -- Leibniz stamps, say:
Anyway, happy eating or collecting or whatever; and to the rest of us,
happy surfing. (Please be patient: this little page is still under
If you are new to Leibniz but not to philosophy, you might try dropping in on a course lecture on Leibniz, which you can do quietly and unobtrusively enough via some lecture notes on Leibniz for a course of Professor G. J. Mattey's, at UC Davis. It's a start. I prefer books, which beat web-surfing most of the time anyway. If you want a very good volume devoted to Leibniz's philosophy, pretty much accessible to non-specialists, buy yourself a copy of The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz, and read it: it's great. From there, just cruise on your own through some of the following sites. Good luck; have fun.; be patient -- you're in a construction zone.
The System of Leibniz
Catholic Encyclopedia (old, but hey...)
Leibniz on the Problem of Evil Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (new, good: thanks to Mike Murray)
Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (new, good: thanks to Mark Kulstad)
Biography 1: courtesy of the Galileo Project / Catalog of the Scientific Community
Biography 2: well, it's a chronology, really -- not especially complete, but interesting: thanks to Suiseth/Znort.
Biography 3: if you're interested in Leibniz the mathematician, especially: thanks to D.R. Wilkins at Trinity College.
Drole de pensee (Suiseth Editions, shareright by Znort)
The Monadology (Latta translation)
La monadologie (if you want it in the French)
Lettres et textes divers (cedric.cnam.fr)
Let Barns and Noble help track down Leibniz
books... Or, for that matter, Amazon.com
could do it for you too. If you're sensible and angling for used
books, do try Bookfinder.com,
and run a Leibniz search: Bookfinder searches ABE and Bibliofind and many
others, so it's the best engine at the moment, I think. The Library
of Congress list of Leibniz Books gives you an idea of what's out there
to be found, by hook or by crook.
ELECTRONIC MAIL LIST
You might try subscribing to the Leibniz
Electronic Mail discussion list, courtesy of George Gale and the University
of Missouri, if you like...
LEIBNIZ SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA AND THE LEIBNIZ REVIEW
The Leibniz Society of North America is a growing learned society devoted
to Leibniz scholarship. If you're interested in Leibniz, or indeed
in the history of early modern philosophy generally, you're encouraged
to become a member of the society. Members receive the journal of
the Society, The
Leibniz Review, which is available by independent subscription
as well. Check this site for information on the Society and the Review.
OTHER SITES TO CRUISE
A really swell Leibniz page maintained by Markku
Roinila is a great start.
Gregory Brown's page, out of the University of Houston. Thanks, Greg.
A nice Leibniz cruise is Donald Rutherford's Leibniz Page, out of UCSD. Thanks, Don.
A Leibniz Page from the Metaphysics Research Lab, at Stanford (thanks to Ed Zalta, mostly).
A page on The Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence, from that UC Davis course on Leibniz noted above.
Photos courtesy of the Research Institute for the Humanities.