GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ QUOTES

German philosopher & mathematician (1646-1716)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz quote

Everything that is possible demands to exist.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, De veritatibus primis

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What is love? To be delighted by the happiness of another.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Confessio Philosophi

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There are two kinds of truths: those of reasoning and those of fact. The truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible; the truths of fact are contingent and their opposites are possible.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, La monadologie

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A great doctor kills more people than a great general.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, attributed, The New International Dictionary of Quotations

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In my judgment an organic machine new to nature never arises, since it always contains an infinity of organs so that it can express, in its own way, the whole universe; indeed, it always contains all past and present times.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to de Volder, June 20, 1703

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God makes nothing without order, and everything that forms itself develops imperceptibly out of small parts.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Protogaea

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There is nothing without reason.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Studies in Physics and the Nature of the Body

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I also readily admit that there are animals, taken in the ordinary sense, that are incomparably larger than those we know of, and I have sometimes said in jest that there might be a system like ours which is the pocketwatch of some enormous giant.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to Johann Bernoulli, December 17, 1698

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All the different classes of beings which taken together make up the universe are, in the ideas of God who knows distinctly their essential gradations, only so many ordinates of a single curve so closely united that it would be impossible to place others between any two of them, since that would imply disorder and imperfection. Thus men are linked with the animals, these with the plants and these with the fossils which in turn merge with those bodies which our senses and our imagination represent to us as absolutely inanimate.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to M. Hermann

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I am far removed from the opinion of those who maintain that there are no rules of goodness and perfection in the nature of things or in the ideas God has of them and who say that the works of God are good solely for the formal reason that God has made them. For, if this were so, God, knowing that he is their author, would not have had to consider them afterwards and find them good, as is testified by the Sacred Scriptures--which seem to have used such anthropomorphic expressions only to make us understand that the excellence of God's works can be recognized by considering them in themselves, even when we do not reflect on this empty external denomination which relates them to their cause. This is all the more true, since it is by considering his works that we can discover the creator. His works must therefore carry his mark in themselves.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Discourse on Metaphysics

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Nature does not make leaps.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain

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There is nothing waste, nothing sterile, nothing dead in the universe; no chaos, no confusions, save in appearance.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, La monadologie

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All things in God are spontaneous.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, "On Freedom and Possibility", Philosophical Essays

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God, possessing supreme and infinite wisdom, acts in the most perfect manner, not only metaphysically, but also morally speaking, and ... with respect to ourselves, we can say that the more enlightened and informed we are about God's works, the more we will be disposed to find them excellent and in complete conformity with what we might have desired.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Discourse on Metaphysics

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The knowledge which we have acquired ought not to resemble a great shop without order, and without an inventory; we ought to know what we possess, and be able to make it serve us in need.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, attributed, Day's Collacon

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He who hasn't tasted bitter things hasn't earned sweet things.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Discours de métaphysique

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For things remain possible, even if God does not choose them. Indeed, even if God does not will something to exist, it is possible for it to exist, since, by its nature, it could exist if God were to will it to exist.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, "On Freedom and Possibility", Philosophical Essays

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It has long seemed ridiculous to me to suppose that the nature of things has been so poor and stingy that it provided souls only to such a trifling mass of bodies on our globe, like human bodies, when it could have given them to all, without interfering with its other ends.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to Johann Bernoulli, November 18, 1698

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Natural religion itself, seems to decay very much. Many will have human souls to be material: others make God himself a corporeal being.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to Samuel Clarke, November 1715

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We should like Nature to go no further; we should like it to be finite, like our mind; but this is to ignore the greatness and majesty of the Author of things.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, letter to Samuel Clarke, 1715

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