Leibniz is often said to be the last person who knew everything. Beyond that, he is mostly remembered for his invention of calculus and for his proof that this is the best of all possible worlds. But, as Marc Bobro explains in “The Optimistic Science of Leibniz,” there is much more to this great genius.
Another review of “The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science,” this one by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, the author of Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. Goldstein admires Aristotle but also defends Plato: “Plato and Aristotle: What an accident of history that two such contrasting orientations toward the physical world, animated by two such different aesthetic sensibilities, should have been pedagogically entangled with each other. One espies beauty in the elegance of the mathematical proportions he is certain rules the cosmos, the other in the richness of sensed particularities he is certain can be functionally explained. Both orientations would find application in the developed sciences to come … .”
Quaere, how much do we really see? What can we learn about knowledge when sight is restored to a 13-year-old boy who had been blind since birth? Charlie Huenemann explains what the empiricist Locke and the rationalist Leibniz had to say about this. And don’t miss the very interesting readers’ comments to this very interesting essay.