Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher.

Early years

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born on July 1, 1646 in Leipzig. His father was an ethics teacher. At an early age, Gottfried is sent to the Nikolsk school of Leipzig. Until his death in 1652, the father himself taught the son of history. By the age of eight, the boy had already mastered Latin. By the age of twelve, freely reading Latin, he begins to study the Greek language. Following this, he intends to study logic, and even undertakes the improvement of its doctrines, and then begins his acquaintance with the works of the Scholastics and Protestant theologians. At fifteen, Leibniz becomes a law student at Leipzig University. The boy spent there two years devotes himself to the study of philosophy under the guidance of Jacob Tomasius, a follower of neo-Aristotelianism. The name of this teacher was widely known, since it was believed, that it was he who elevated history and philosophy in Germany to the rank of sciences. Therefore, Leibniz gets an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the ideas of contemporary thinkers who made their contribution and made a revolution in science and philosophy. At the same time, Leibniz began to study mathematics, and in the summer of 1663, while traveling to Paris, Leibniz, staying in Jena, graduated with honors from the mathematics course under the leadership of E. Weigel. The next three years Leibniz devotes himself to the study of law.

In 1666, Mr.. he receives a degree of “Doctor of Law Sciences”, and then intends to achieve the position of an assessor. But, in view of the fact that Leibniz was still too young, the university does not even consider his candidacy for this post. In frustrated feelings, Leibniz forever leaves his homeland. He will go to Altdorf University, where he will write his doctoral dissertation “Introductory discussions on the dual nature of jurisprudence.” In November 1666, Leibniz received his doctorate in law and allowed him to practice law. The offer to enter the teaching position Leibniz does not hold, stating that he has other plans for the future.

Scientific activity

By the time he was twenty-one, Leibniz had written a number of scientific essays. One of them was highly appreciated by specialists, both for the fact that the author attempted to restore the code of Roman law, and because he was available and clearly proved the need to use the historical method in jurisprudence. One of the turning points in the life of Leibniz is a meeting with politician Johann Christian von Boyneburg. Von Boyenburg takes Leibniz to his assistants, and also presents him to the Elector of Mainz. In order to obtain a promotion, Leibniz writes for that article, after which he receives an offer from the Electorate to assist in the editing of the legal code. In 1669 Leibniz received the position of assessor in the Court of Appeal. After the death of von Boyneburg in 1672,


In the same year Leibniz wrote his work “Reflections on the theme of public security.” In the book, he discusses the topic of defending Germany’s borders and forming a new union of German monarchies, and declares that European states should not lose their power in internecine wars, but instead direct joint efforts to subjugate the non-Christian world, and finally to annex Egypt to the lands of France. After this publication, on February 2, 1672, at the invitation of French state counselor Simon Arnaud de Pomponne, Leibniz went to Paris. In addition to high political status, France has also made significant progress in the development of science and mathematics, which had a great influence on Leibniz. While still in Mainz, he wondered about the causal connection between the old and new methods of philosophy. The result of his reflections was a letter to Yakov Tomaziy, in which a mechanical explanation of nature was given in terms of magnitude, motion and shape. Before leaving Mainz, Leibniz unveils his discoveries, the most significant of which was a calculating machine capable of performing operations of multiplication, addition, subtraction, division and extraction of the root. This machine was presented at the Paris Academy of Sciences and at the Royal Society in London. It was thanks to this invention that in April 1673 Leibniz was admitted to the Royal Society. This machine was presented at the Paris Academy of Sciences and at the Royal Society in London. It was thanks to this invention that in April 1673 Leibniz was admitted to the Royal Society. This machine was presented at the Paris Academy of Sciences and at the Royal Society in London. It was thanks to this invention that in April 1673 Leibniz was admitted to the Royal Society.

Life in Hanover

After a short trip to London, in 1676 Leibniz is in Hanover. Just during this trip, Newton accuses Leibniz of stealing his unpublished work on calculus. On his way to Hanover, Leibniz stayed in The Hague, where he met with Leuvenook – a scientist who discovered the existence of microorganisms. In Hanover, Leibniz enters the post of secret counselor of justice, which will occupy the rest of his life. In the duchy of Brunswick, he becomes a historian and curator of the ducal library, and also a political adviser. His works during this period touch upon questions of politics, theology and history. However, in northern Germany Leibniz very few people complained.

Late years

The family of Brunswick Leibniz will last forty years, having survived the reign of three crown princes. Thus, Leibniz falls into the political environment determined by the dynastic goals of the German state. This time, Leibniz devotes intellectual pursuits to logic, physics, philosophy, improving his works on calculus and other questions of mathematics. In 1674, he began work on calculus and, by 1677, represents his own consistent system, which, however, will not be published until 1684. Later publications of 1682-1692 greatly improve his mathematical and scientific reputation. Elector Ernst Augustus, in order to prove the legitimacy of the dynastic ambitions of the Brunswick clan, instructs Leibniz to write the history of the house. Therefore, in 1687-1690, Leibniz, in search of archival documents, traveled to Germany, Italy and Austria. In 1708, an article by John Kale appeared in the scientific journal of the Royal Society, in which he accused Leibniz of plagiarizing Newton’s ideas. The last thirty years of his life Leibniz deals with mathematics, theology, history, jurisprudence, politics, science and philosophy.


November 14, 1716, due to poor health, Gottfried W. Leibniz dies. His last days were marked by numerous quarrels, and therefore only his personal assistant appeared at the funeral of the scientist. More than fifty years after the funeral on the grave of Leibniz there were no identification marks.

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Biography of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz