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"Leibniz’s Enlightenment. Debates on Faith and Reason in Early modern Europe, 1668-1710"


"The project is a historical reconstruction of the philosophical debates concerning faith and reason in the Early Modern Republic of Letters as seen through the eyes of the German polymath G.W. Leibniz (1646-1716). It will be conducted at the Centre d’Etudes en Rhétorique, Philosophie et Histoire des Idees (CERPHI UMR 5037), a research unit based at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. It will be supervised by the director of CERPHI, Professor Pierre-François Moreau. The project contains three parts. First, it reconstructs the conceptual framework, which governs Leibniz’s analysis, evaluation and strategic approach to other thinkers, positions and doctrines in the early modern Republic of Letters, with special emphasis on the controversies concerning faith and reason. This provides a historically immanent methodological framework for the study of those debates. It also provides an original account of Leibniz’s position as a philosopher in the Early Modern Republic of Letters, a powerful proponent of what is today referred to as the “moderate Enlightenment.” In Part II, I study in detail Leibniz’s engagement with a series of other, contemporary theoretical positions on the relations between faith and reason. These positions include Padouan Averroism, Mechanism, Naturalism and Materialism, Catholic Fideism, Erudite Libertinism, Theological and Philosophical Enthusiasm, Rational theology, and Calvinist Scepticism. The seven case studies currently planned form the bulk of the project. Finally, in Part III, the project includes a set of appendices containing translations into English of a series of generally unknown French and Latin texts by Leibniz. The project is a strongly interdisciplinary and draws on research from both philosophy, history, theology, comparative literature, and the history of science."

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /social sciences/political science/government systems

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Parvis Rene Descartes 15
69342 Lyon
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 254 775
Administrative Contact
Jeremy Pretet (Dr.)