My paper on Leibniz, now under the title ‘Leibniz and Geography: Geologist, Palaeontologist, Biologist, Historian, Political Theorist and Geopolitician’ is forthcoming with Geographica Helvetica. Given that journal’s remit of crossing between linguistic traditions, it is a fitting home for a paper on a thinker who wrote in six languages – mainly Latin, frequently French and German, occassionally in Italian, English and Dutch. Here’s the abstract:
This article discusses the way that the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) made a number of significant contributions to geography. In outlining his contributions as a geologist, palaeontologist, biologist, historian, political theorist and geopolitician, it challenges the straight-forward way he is read in Geography. Particular focus is on his Protogaea, the Annales Imperii and the Consilium Aegyptiacum, respectively a pre-history of the earth, a chronology of German nobility in the Middle Ages, and a military-strategic proposal to King Louis XIV. Making use of contemporary debates about ways of reading Leibniz, and drawing on a wide range of his writings, the article indicates just how much remains to be discovered about his geographical contributions.
I gave a short talk on Leibniz, drawing from the longer paper, at last year’s AAG meeting – below is a video which pairs the powerpoint with an audio recording: