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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Leibniz’s contribution to legal theory and the significance of his legal engagements for his intellectual development. It opens by presenting Leibniz’s legal career, listing the sequence of legal offices he assumed and the series of often related writings addressing legal matters. It presents Leibniz’s early legal works, where a new approach to legal scholarship and decision-making is proposed that merges positive and natural law and enriches the law with methods and knowledge from logic, mathematics, physics, and philosophy. This new synthesis provides the basis of his proposed reform of legal education. Leibniz’s relation to Roman law is then considered, focusing on the role of Roman tradition in his approach to law and justice. The last two sections address Leibniz’s logic of deontic modalities and his view of legal reasoning as being both dialectical and presumptive.

Keywords: Leibniz, law, justice, natural law, positive law, Roman law, deontic logic

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