Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is the best good enough?

I'm easing myself back into the world of Leibniz' Theodicy with the help of Steven Nadler's The Best of All Possible Worlds, one of a good many books which have appeared since I last occupied myself with these subjects. Nadler comes to Leibniz from Arnauld, Malebranche and Spinoza, so is able to evoke a whole philosophical world convincingly and engagingly. He's also not a Leibnizolater (as I was when I was doing the Leibniz thing), so it's a helpful wake up call to my old reflexes... To tell the truth it's also a reminder of just how weird the history of philosophy can be. Nadler does a remarkable job of making late 17th century debate exciting. At least until that world becomes more real to me again, however, I can't imagine devoting a career to it.

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