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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Leibniz’s life-long efforts to create societies or academies of science. He was convinced that by collecting the knowledge available to humankind and by improving upon it through innovations in science and technology, rulers could ameliorate conditions in their territories, benefitting both themselves and their subjects, and thereby increasing their welfare and happiness. In Leibniz’s view, all this would be achieved if the work of scientists were motivated not by pure curiosity but by aiming at utility. In other words, scientists should work as subjects of God’s universal monarchy who contribute to the common good by combining theoria cum praxi. Leibniz’s plans comprised far-reaching economic, administrative, and educational reforms, as well as concrete proposals for financing them. At the same time, Leibniz also sought the directorship of the proposed institutions in order to secure cooperation among European societies.

Keywords: Leibniz, academy, society, Europe, knowledge, societas

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