Couturat, Louis. Trans. by Donald Rutherford

The Logic of Leibniz (ca. 1679-1715)


Leibniz's logical essays have been published only slowly and very incompletely. Even today they are scattered piecemeal among various partial editions, most notably the two in which Gerhardt has so unfortunately separated the mathematical and philosophical writings,2 as if one could dissect the work of an encyclopedic savant whose philosophy was nourished by the study of all the sciences and in turn inspired all of his scientific discoveries. If there is one thinker whose thought cannot be divided with impunity in this way, it is certainly the one who said, "My metaphysics is entirely mathematical,"3 or again, "Mathematicians have as much need to be philosophers as philosophers have to be mathematicians."4 ... Louis CoutruratTim Monroe and I set out to translate La Logique de Leibniz because we believed that, in the English-speaking world, Couturat's contributions had not been sufficiently appreciated. Although Russell's Critical Exposition offers a more rigorous analysis of Leibniz's metaphysics, Couturat's book remains unsurpassed as a survey of the full range of Leibniz's work in logic and the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mathematics. Couturat's success in this regard was the result of archival research that brought to light a wealth of unpublished writings on these topics that had been omitted from previous editions of Leibniz's works. These texts were published by Couturat in the collection Opuscules et fragments in├ędits de Leibniz (Paris, 1903), which serves as a companion to La Logique de Leibniz.... Donald Rutherford, University of California, San Diego (2002).