Gottfried Leibniz

One of the historical figures who managed to provide a large number of important contributions to many branches of science is Gottfried Leibniz . His knowledge and wisdom made areas such as science , logic , metaphysics , mathematics , medicine and psychology , among others, advance significantly. This renowned scientist of German origin is still considered a genius and a very prominent intellectual who exerted great influences in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Personal information

  • When he was born: July 1, 1646
  • Where he was born:  Leipzig, Germany
  • When he died: November 14, 1716
  • Where he died: Hannover, Germany

Who was Gottfried Leibniz?

Gottfried Leibniz was a renowned intellectual and mathematician who exerted an important influence in the field of science , philosophy and mathematics that later influenced modern science and the explanations of natural and human phenomena .

  • Biography of Gottfried Leibniz
  • Thought
  • Gottfried Leibniz theories
  • Gottfried Leibniz contributions
  • What did he invent
  • Importance
  • Plays
  • Phrases

Biography of Gottfried Leibniz

Gottfried Leibniz was born in the city of Leipzig, in Germany , on July 1, 1646 . His father, Friedrich Leibnütz and his mother Catherina Schmuck , who made up a Lutheran family, his father died as a child so his uncle and mother took care of his education. As a child, he was educated at the Nicolai school and studied in a library owned by his father which had been inherited by a teacher. By the time he was 12, he was already speaking Latin and Greek.

He entered the University of Leipzig in 1661 where he studied law . He also lived for a time in Paris and here he decided to study physics and mathematics . He had a great influence from Christiaan Huygens , who was his basis for the development of his theories of differential and integral calculus. He also studied at the University of Altdorf where he managed to get a doctorate. He worked as an alchemist in Nuremberg and traveled around Europe and met many philosophers of the time. He founded an academy of sciences in the city of Berlin. He died in the city of Hannover, in the month of November of the year 1716.


Gottfried Leibniz’s thinking was based on rationalism . For him, it was necessary to acquire true knowledge and not what was considered real. He made distinctions of reason, which could be obtained from mathematics , and truths of fact, which were not known with certainty if they were true.

For him, there was an innate knowledge in the human being that could be developed when there was action in the mind.

Gottfried Leibniz theories

His epistemological theory was developed based on the way in which knowledge can be obtained and how mental life can be developed. Among the main theories are mentioned:

  • Notions : for him, the elements of reality were associated with the notion.
  • Everything is related and that is why it was also inspired by rationalism . He considered that the maximum that can be aspired to is mathematics and the symbol system, which are also part of this science.
  • The monads : in this theory, it tries to imply that notions can help to know the truth, however, it refers that in practice this cannot be achieved because the rationality of the human being does not have enough power to be able to process large amounts of information.
  • The truths of reason and fact : it mentions that a series of simple truths can be accessed through mathematics in order to know and understand things that are true and authentic .

Gottfried Leibniz contributions

The contributions of Gottfried Leibniz were many and in different areas. In this way we can mention the most important of them:


In the field of mathematics, he contributed the infinitesimal calculus , part of modern mathematics that is responsible for studying derivatives, integrals and infinite series. It was he who contributed the symbols that are used today: ∫ y dy = y² / 2.

He also contributed the binary system that uses the numbers 1 and 0 to be able to represent all the possible combinations of numbers that may exist. This is, today, the basis for computing . He also created several calculators that allowed for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


He established several philosophical principles related to the continuity of nature which was closely related to the infinitesimal calculus and to sufficient reason because for him, nothing could happen without a reason.


He was the first person to use the term ” analysis situs ” which referred to position, which today is known as topology , which studies the properties of things that are invariable.


In this field, he related science with morals . For him, medicine and ethics went hand in hand. He also used the experimental method as the basis of modern sciences. He supported the theory of medical empiricism and considered this science to be the basis of knowledge and of the philosophy of science .


He saw God as a real being, as the only one capable of improving the world. He implied that everything had a cause and that this was God. He analyzed the importance of religion within society .

What did he invent

Among his main inventions are the following:

  • Infinitesimal calculation .
  • Rule of the product of the differential calculus which is known as Leibniz’s rule.
  • Started topology development .
  • He invented the binary system and made great contributions in the field of computer science.


Gottfried Leibniz was a very important man for his contributions to areas such as philosophy , mathematics , theology , physics , logic , geology , law , politics , paleontology and even religion . His ideas and his way of thinking reached and influenced economics and the social sciences . He also discovered inferential calculus , the binary language that is essential to the world of computing today.. His contributions have reached the current century and he is considered the most influential philosopher today.


His main work, in addition to several essays and short articles, was called Theodicy . This was his only book and it was published in 1710 . The full name of his work was ” Essay of Theodicea on the goodness of God, the freedom of the human being and the origin of evil . ” In it, were the main theses and arguments of Gottfried Leibniz, as well as his rationalist theories on the goodness and wisdom of God, divine freedom , the freedom of the human being , the nature and origin of evil , as well as its meaning . Another of his short works was published after his death and was titled” New essays on human understanding . 


Some of the most important phrases of Gottfried Leibniz were the following:

  • In the field of the spirit clarity must be sought; utility in the material world .
  • I assure you that men could be happier, and could, in a short time, make great strides to increase happiness, as long as they were willing to do the right thing.
  • They always have a better opinion about what is not known.
  • To love is to be able to find your own happiness in the happiness of the other.
  • The soul is the mirror that reflects an indestructible universe.
  • What we call ” chance ” is nothing more than ignorance caused by physical causes.
  • There are two truths: those of reason and those of fact .

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