Tag Archives: clarke

Dear people who have found my blog by searching WordPress for “Leibniz porn”:

I don’t know who you are or where you come from, but I have a feeling we are kindred spirits.

Unless “Leibniz porn” is slang for something else entirely. In which case, someone please inform me of its meaning so as to allow me to avoid amy embarrassment if I were to go to any given public area and say, “gee, I could really go for some Leibniz porn.”

Which has been known to happen.

And on another Leibniz-related note, we are to read part of the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence for Philosophy of Physics this week. This correspondence consisted of a series of letters exchanged between our hero Gottfried and Samuel Clarke, an ardent supporter of Newton and basically a speaker on behalf of him. The two men’s correspondence began in 1715 and ended a year or so later with Leibniz’ death.

Anyway. The two talk mainly about the dispute between absolute vs. relational space (Newton’s/Clarke’s and Leibniz’ views, respectively) as well as things like whether our universe could have been created by god earlier or later than it was and whether or not space is mostly empty. It’s super interesting and fantastic if you get a good translation, ‘cause then you get the snarkiness that was exchanged along with the ideas. For example, at one point in Leibniz’ fourth letter to Clarke you get this little jab as the two debate the meaning of the word “sensorium’”: “The question is indeed about Newton’s sense for that word, not Goclenius’s, Clarke shouldn’t criticize me for quoting the Philosophical Dictionary, because the design of dictionaries is to show the use of words.” Clarke’s got a couple good ones in there, too.

Okay, that is all. I’m in Leibniz ecstasy land today. It’s a good, safe, happy place. Full of wigs.