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

Final Report Summary - LEIBENLIG (Leibniz's Enlightenment. Debates on Faith and Reason in Early modern Europe, 1668-1710)

The LEIBENLIG 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 is a strongly interdisciplinary and draws on research from both philosophy, history, theology, comparative literature, and the history of science. It has been conducted at the Institut d'histoire de la pensée classique (CERPHI UMR 5037), a research unit based at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and was directed by Pierre-François Moreau.

The project contains two parts. First, a reconstruction of the conceptual framework that 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. 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. Part two contains a detailed study of Leibniz's engagement with a series of other contemporary positions, in particular those of Pierre-Sylvain Régis, Pierre-Daniel Huet, Pierre Bayle, Henry More, and the set of thinkers known as the 'erudite libertines'.

The results of the project has been presented at some seventeen events (workshops, seminar, conferences), in France, United States of America, Costa Rica, England, Belgium and Italy. Published or forthcoming results include five book chapters, one peer-reviewed article, and one co-edited volume. Work still under review or in progress includes one peer-reviewed article and one major monograph entitled Les Lumières de Leibniz. Quatre études en perspectivisme historique: Controverses avec Huet, Régis, Bayle, et More. The monograph includes the development of an original methodology for the study of the history of philosophy and four case studies. Complete draft planned for September 2013.

The results of the project are of interest for anyone working in the history of philosophy, and in particular in the early modern period and the Enlightenment.

For contact and further information, please write the principal researcher Mogens Lærke at mogenslaerke@hotmail.com.