Pedro J. Martinez-Fraga, Miami, über Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in einem Brief anlässlich seines Besuchs am Leibnizgrab im Dezember 2016:

 

„I have studied all of Leibniz’s published works since first discovering him in college. Today I remain fascinated, intrigued, and humbled by his writings.

Leibniz’s extraordinary genius and moral courage are plain to see, but nowhere clearer than with respect to three very distinct efforts: The New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, The Theodicy, and the efforts with the British Royal Academy to secure recognition for his independent discovery of the calculus.

The New Essays Concerning Human Understanding purports to be a refutation of John Locke’s Essays Concerning Human Understanding. Locke’s work had been highly acclaimed and, by some standards, at the time represented the unassailable triumph and apogee of empiricism and utilitarian philosophical thought (to the extent that the latter is not a contradiction in terms). Leibniz had everything to lose and nothing to gain, beyond his adherence to intellectual integrity, by offering this refutation. It exposed him to possible career-ending critique while promising little, if anything, in return by way of practical gain and self-advancement. His adherence to truth far outweighed any other interest that he could have had in writing The New Essays.

Al I recall The Theodicy, that work represents Leibniz’s response to the enigma of the presence and prevalence of injustice and evil in the world. Few would debate that Leibniz was fully aware at the time that he wrote The Theodicy that a rational justification of an imperfect world was not possible. Despite a deep understanding of this challenge, Leibniz also believed that reason also could be used in furtherance of the pursuit of faith and not just as a vehicle for identifying human failings in grasping infinity. Here we see in Leibniz more than just a superior intellect with moral courage. He displays faith in its purest form and expression: namely, a trust in the very uncertainty that reason mercilessly highlights.


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