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Trajectories of a Multifaceted Mind. Leibniz and His Post-Idealist Legacy (from 1850 up to nowadays) (Call for Proposals)

Organization: Lo Sguardo
Event: Call for Proposals
Categories: Philosophy
Event Date: 2020-05-30 Abstract Due: 2020-05-30

Few other thinkers of the past has as much of an influence on as many different disciplines and movements within a same discipline as the last Universalgelehrter (universal genius), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

When he was still very young, Leibniz taught himself Latin and Greek, while his dead father’s library put at his disposal the great classics of the history of knowledge, both past and present. An eager reader, he managed to reunite a theoretic mind to a pragmatic spirit by undertaking humanistic as well as scientific and technical studies. A Jurist by training; a diplomat by profession; a mathematician and a philosopher by vocation; an exegete and an inventor; Leibniz devoted his intellectual efforts to finding solutions: from the schism of the two Churches, to the hydraulic pump for implementing extraction in the mining of the Harz mountains, or to a plan to save the public health system in case of epidemic.

The critical edition of his many unpublished writings – divided in eight series, each of which devoted to a disciplinary field our author contributed to, from mathematics, to philosophy, natural sciences, but also linguistics and theories of languages, without neglecting the incredible amount (about 1300) of correspondents he engaged with – is a testament to his multiform and flexible mind, comparable only, perhaps, to the variety of topics and problems raised within its reception in the post-idealist cultural stage throughout the world (think of authors like Dewey and his interest in the New Essays, or his influence on Peirce).

Besides his “Wollfian Renaissance”, that, after Leibniz’s death in 1716, marks a temporary rehabilitation of his philosophical positions, the establishment of the “Copernican Turn” by Kant and the following Hegelian Idealism seemed to destine Leibniz’s philosophy to oblivion. And yet, in parallel with the re-discovering of his unpublished papers and letters buried in the Nachlass of the Hannover Library – from New Essays edited by Raspe in 1765, to the big edition by Dutens (1768), Erdmann (1839/40), Foucher de Careil (1859-87), Gerhardt (1849-60, 1875-90) up to Couturat (1903) and Grua (1948) –, his multifaceted genius has been slowly rediscovered and reevaluated, giving birth to new philosophical movements. From Husserl’s phenomenology to Cassirer’s Neo-Kantianism; from French structuralism and French spiritualism (Boutroux, Bergson) to Freud’s psychoanalysis; from the debate on Einstein’s relativity (Bachelard, Mahnke, Reichenbach, Cassirer) to the birth of mathematical logic by Couturat, Russell and Peano’s school, as well as the theory of possible worlds by Lewis, Kripke and Stalnaker; from Sellars’ expressionism to Brandom’s inferentialism and the algorithmic theory of information by Chaitin; without forgetting writers such as T.S. Eliot and Carlo Emilio Gadda; all these thinkers – and many others – entertained fruitful dialogues with the writings of the Philosopher from Leipzig.

The issue 32 (2020/1) of the journal “Lo Sguardo” is dedicated to the influence of the Leibnizian production in the development of various knowledge domains from the end of the German Idealism (1850) up to nowadays. In tune with the multifaceted genius he was, the editors also accept contributions from disciplines different from philosophy, written in a popular fashion, such as mathematics, literature, informatics, history, linguistics, etc. The contributions are not restricted to the authors listed in the call.



Procedure: Please send an abstract of up to 4,000 characters, including the title of the proposed contribution and an outline of its argument, to callforpapers@losguardo.net by the specified deadline. Proposals will be evaluated by the editors of the Journal and a panel of readers, and the results of the selection will be announced to the authors by June 15th, 2020. Accepted papers will then have to be submitted to the editors by a new deadline, which will be announced to the authors with the results of the selection, and will undergo a double-blind review.



Lucia Oliveri