On This Day In History: Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz – Famous Philosopher, Scientist And Mathematician Died – On Nov 14, 1716

AncientPages.com - On November 14, 1716, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, a famous German philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, died.

Born on July 1, 1646, in Leipzig, Germany, Leibniz was a brilliant young man who started studying at Leipzig University when he was 15. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy at 17 and a doctorate in law at 20.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)

He was one of the great renaissance men of Western thought, and he made significant contributions in several fields, such as law, philosophy, mathematics, physics, logic, ethics, and theology.

In the area of philosophy, Leibniz is most remembered for his optimism. Philosophical optimism was an attempt to solve the problem of suffering and evil in the world, and Leibniz emphasized the role of a benevolent creator.

Leibniz thought symbols to be significant for the understanding of things. He also tried to develop an alphabet of human thought, in which he attempted to represent all fundamental concepts using symbols and combined these symbols to express more complex ideas. Leibniz never finished this.

Leibniz was an excellent mathematician and logician, and he is today famous for his invention of differential and integral calculus independently of Isaac Newton.

A critical breakthrough in his work here occurred on November 11, 1675, when he successfully demonstrated integral calculus to find the area under the y=x function for the first time. He introduced several notations used in calculus to this day, for instance, the integral sign "+ representing an elongated S from the Latin word summa and the d used for differentials from the Latin word differentia.

Leibniz's work was published in many learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters, and unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, primarily Latin, French, and German.

As an engineer, he also worked on calculating machines, clocks, and even mining machinery. Not to mention that he more or less also invented the modern idea of cataloging.

There is no doubt that Leibniz's ideas, theories, and inventions have been beneficial to several scientific fields.

This great thinker and scientist died in Hannover on November 14, 1716.