The aim of this book series, sponsored by the BSHP and published by Oxford University Press is to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects of the history of philosophy, including the rediscovery of neglected elements and the exploration of new approaches to the subject. Texts are selected on the basis of their philosophical and historical significance and with a view to promoting the understanding of currently under-represented authors, philosophical traditions, and historical periods. They include new editions and translations of important yet less well-known works which are not widely available to an Anglophone readership. The series is managed by an editorial team elected by the Society. It reflects the Society’s main mission and its strong commitment to broadening the canon.
Maria Rosa Antognazza
Mogens Lærke (managing editor)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, General Inquiries on the Analysis of Notions and Truths, edited, translated and introduced by Massimo Mugnai. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020, 176 Pages. ISBN: 9780192895905. View on OUP website
In General Inquiries on the Analysis of Notions and Truths, Leibniz articulates for the first time his favourite solution to the problem of contingency and displays the main features of his logical calculus. Leibniz composed the work in 1686, the same year in which he began to correspond with Arnauld and wrote the Discourse on Metaphysics. General Inquiries supplements these contemporary entries in Leibniz's philosophical oeuvre and demonstrates the intimate connection that links Leibniz's philosophy with the attempt to create a new kind of logic.
This edition presents the text and translation of the General Inquiries along with an introduction and commentary. Given the composite structure of the text, where logic and metaphysics strongly intertwine, Mugnai's introduction falls into two sections, respectively dedicated to logic and metaphysics. The first section ('Logic') begins with a preliminary account of Leibniz's project for a universal characteristic and focuses on the relationships between rational grammar and logic, and discusses the general structure and the main ingredients of Leibniz's logical calculus. The second section ('Metaphysics') is centred on the problem of contingency, which occupied Leibniz until the end of his life. Mugnai provides an account of the problem, and details Leibniz's proposed solution, based on the concept of infinite analysis.