Leibniz: General Inquiries on the Analysis of Notions and Truths
New Texts in the History of Philosophy
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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.