Microbadge - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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Sam H
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Name Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Group Science Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Num Owners 11
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Description

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (sometimes von Leibniz) (July 1, 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin (~40%), French (~30%) and German (~15%).

Leibniz occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. He developed the infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is at the foundation of virtually all digital computers.

In philosophy, Leibniz is mostly noted for his optimism, e.g., his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could have created. Leibniz, along with René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, was one of the three great 17th century advocates of rationalism. The work of Leibniz anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy, but his philosophy also looks back to the scholastic tradition, in which conclusions are produced by applying reason to first principles or prior definitions rather than to empirical evidence. Leibniz made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in biology, medicine, geology, probability theory, psychology, linguistics, and information science. He wrote works on politics, law, ethics, theology, history, philosophy, and philology.

Source: Wikipedia, "Gottfried Leibniz", available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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