The tensor notation was invented by Einstein

Leibniz and modern science

What else does a 17th century scholar have to say about today's natural sciences? Quite a lot, as this book shows. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was a universal genius, and he achieved groundbreaking achievements in almost all areas of science, especially in philosophy (relativity of space and time), mathematics (infinitesimal calculus, determinant theory, binary number system, construction of a calculating machine) , logic (predicate and modal logic, concept of possible worlds), physics (conservation of energy and principle of action), earth and human history, jurisprudence and theology. However, these achievements were not isolated, but rather embedded in a comprehensive system based on the principle of contradiction, the principle of sufficient reason and the principle of continuity. It is only through understanding this system that the unity and breadth of his thinking can be revealed.

Jürgen Jost, who, like few others, has an overview of the various sciences, confronts this Leibnizian system with the approaches, ways of thinking and results of today's natural sciences, in particular quantum physics, the theory of relativity and cosmology, modern logic, evolutionary biology and brain research. It turns out that the Leibniz system is still up-to-date in many respects and has proven itself, but also needs to be revised in some positions. This results in new insights into the Leibniz system as well as into today's natural sciences.

 

The author

Jürgen Jost studied mathematics, physics, economics and philosophy at the University of Bonn. He received his doctorate in mathematics and, after various international research stays, was appointed professor of mathematics at the Ruhr University in Bochum and then as director of the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Natural Sciences in Leipzig. He is the author of a large number of research monographs, textbooks and specialist publications and conducts research in many different areas - from mathematics to neurobiology to the history of science.

Keywords

History of Philosophy Natural Science Philosophy Philosophical Background Science Philosophy Biology Philosophy Physics Philosophy Math Philosophy Neuroscience

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Geometric Methods and Complex SystemsMax Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Natural SciencesLeipzigGermany

About the authors

Jürgen Jost studied mathematics, physics, economics and philosophy at the University of Bonn from 1975 to 1980. He received his doctorate in mathematics in 1980 and, after various international research stays, was appointed professor of mathematics at the Ruhr University in Bochum in 1984 and as director of the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Natural Sciences in Leipzig in 1996. He is also an honorary professor at the University of Leipzig and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute for the Sciences of Complexity in the USA. In 1993 he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize from the DFG and in 2010 an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. He is the author of more than 20 research monographs and textbooks and over 400 scientific specialist publications. His research areas range from mathematics, theoretical physics and new methods of data analysis to theoretical and mathematical biology and neurobiology and the theory of economic and social systems in the context of a general theory of complex systems to the history and theory of science.

Bibliographic information