Studies of Gottfried Leibniz's moral and political philosophy typically focus on metaphysical perfection, happiness, or love. In this new reading of Leibniz, Christopher Johns shows that it is based on a ‘science of right'.
Based on the deontic concepts of jus (right) and obligation, this science of right is established in Leibniz's early writings on jurisprudence and depended on throughout several of his major late writings. Johns shows that the moral rightness of an action is grounded in the rights and obligations derived from the agent's capacity for freedom. This new interpretation of Leibniz's moral philosophy compares Leibniz's positions with Grotius, Pufendorf, Hobbes, Locke, and Kant.
Providing a comprehensive examination of Leibniz's most important writings on natural right, John's argues that Leibniz, properly understood, provides a compelling account of the grounds of morality and of political institutionsan account relevant to present philosophical debates.
About the Author
Christopher Johns is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
Table of Contents
1. The Science of Right: Its Method and Grounds in the Nova Methodus
2. Right, Justice, Love: A Response to Carneades in the Elementa Juris Naturalis
3. The Middle Period: Ius, Caritas, and the Codex Juris Gentium
4. Causes and Concepts in the Science of Right
5. Necessity, Obligation, and Freedom
6. Leibniz Among Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke
Appendix: Translation of Nova Methodus Discendae Docendaeque Jurisprudentiae