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Title: G.W. Leibniz. The Art of Controversies
Edited By: Marcelo Dascal
Series Title: The New Synthese Historical Library

Leibniz is known to the wide public and to many scholars mainly as a
logician and mathematician, and as the creator of a fascinating but strange
metaphysical system. In these, as well as in other fields, his remarkable
innovations were achieved by painstaking efforts to establish a fruitful
critical dialogue with the leading contemporary thinkers. He was no less
important, however, in his practical endeavor to bring opponents to
negotiate reasonable solutions to key political and religious conflicts of
his time.

Both his theoretical and practical activities were informed by a
philosophical mind that sought in all circumstances the most general
underlying principles; by a juridical mind that sought to bring order and
structure to human interaction, without sacrificing the necessary
flexibility; by an argumentative mind that knows that persuading is often
more important than proving; by a scientific mind eager to organize past
and present knowledge so as not to miss any bit of information capable of
pointing the way to new discoveries; by a theologian mind that refuses to
admit that religious conflicts between true believers are irresolvable; and
by an ethical and political mind whose major concern is to direct all our
intellectual work towards improving the well-being of humankind.

All these perspectives (and more) are united in what this book identifies
as his Art of Controversies, which might also be called an Art of
Dialectical Cooperation. For it is based on the idea that knowledge
production, acquisition, and evolution is not a one-man affair, but the
result of the cooperation of many, coming from different perspectives;
whence it follows that not only tolerance vis-à-vis the other, but also
valuing the other’s contribution and integrating it – whether it stems from
another age, continent, culture, discipline, religion, or individual – is
indispensable. This dialectical Leibniz that emerges from the selected
texts here translated, commented, and interpreted in the light of their
context, isn’t for sure the familiar one. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, it is
capable of shedding light on that old, familiar, yet incomplete image of
Leibniz, and of adding thus a further reason for cherishing and cultivating
the heritage of a truly great man.

Written for:
Philosophers, historians of philosophy and of ideas (especially 17th and
18th centuries), scholars, teachers, and students of Leibniz, rhetoricians,
argumentation theorists, pragmaticians, and those studying conflict
resolution and dialogue studies

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: Springer
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Philosophy of Language
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1402081901
ISBN-13: 9781402081903
Pages: 520
Prices: U.S. $ 69.95

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1402052278
ISBN-13: 9781402052279
Pages: 516
Prices: U.K. £ 130.50

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1402081901
ISBN-13: 9781402081903
Pages: 520
Prices: U.K. £ 38.50
Europe EURO 49.95