Gottfried Leibniz completed his habilitation dissertation (as part of his book De Arte Combinatoria) in philosophy somewhere in the mid-1660s. Prior to that, he had acquired his master’s degree; what I would like to know is the following:

Did Leibniz’s work for his habilitation come from ideas in his previous studies, particularly his master’s degree work? Or were they novel attempts in their own right? (Also is there any account of any of his earlier works regarding these?)


1 Answer 1


Leibniz's De Arte Combinatoria from 1666 was influenced by the Ars Magna of the 13th century philospher Ramón Llull. The overarching principle that complex ideas can be reformulated in terms of a small number of elementary concepts was a line of thought that Leibniz had previously explored in his baccalaureate thesis De Principio Individui ("On the Principle of the Individual") from 1663. That work was further developed in La Monadologie (1714).

His Masters thesis on the connections between philosophy and law (1664) seems unrelated.


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