The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil in the Age of Reason

The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil in the Age of Reason

by Steven Nadler
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691145318

ISBN-13: 9780691145310

Pub. Date: 04/04/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In the spring of 1672, German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz arrived in Paris, home of France's two greatest philosopher-theologians of the period, Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas de Malebranche. The meeting of these three men represents a profoundly important moment in the history of philosophical and religious thought.

In The Best of All

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Overview

In the spring of 1672, German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz arrived in Paris, home of France's two greatest philosopher-theologians of the period, Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas de Malebranche. The meeting of these three men represents a profoundly important moment in the history of philosophical and religious thought.

In The Best of All Possible Worlds, Steven Nadler tells the story of a clash between radically divergent worldviews. At its heart are the dramatic—and often turbulent—relationships between these brilliant and resolute individuals. Despite their wildly different views and personalities, the three philosophers shared a single, passionate concern: resolving the problem of evil. Why is it that, in a world created by an all-powerful, all-wise, and infinitely just God, there is sin and suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people, and good things to bad people?

The Best of All Possible Worlds brings to life a debate that obsessed its participants, captivated European intellectuals, and continues to inform our ways of thinking about God, morality, and the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691145310
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/04/2010
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,419,155
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Leibniz in Paris 3

2 Philosophy on the Left Bank 23

3 Le Grand Arnauld 52

4 Theodicy 78

5 The Kingdoms of Nature and Grace 108

6 “Touch the Mountains and They Smoke” 141

7 The Eternal Truths 184

8 The Specter of Spinoza 217

Epilogue 241

Notes 255

Bibliography 281

Acknowledgments 287

Index 289

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