How might assuming the best help us understand the world? According to Gottfried Leibniz, the world is most rationally explained by assuming that all things are ordered with an eye towards what is good and even best. Things happen for a good reason—not only human actions, but events in the natural world as well. This seminar will introduce students to the metaphysics of Leibniz, a field of study that seeks to explain the ultimate nature of reality. We will read selections from his Discourse on Metaphysics and his Monadology. Our goal will be to see how Leibniz’s approach to the deepest questions of philosophy might help us better understand the nature of God, the world, and our place in it.

Dates: Wednesday evenings on 4.5, 4.12, 4.19, 4.26.

Time: 5:30-7:00

Readings: For a free copy of the book, please contact


April 5: Discourse on Metaphysics, p. 1-21 (sect. 1-18)
April 12: Discourse on Metaphysics, p. 21-41 (sect. 19-37)
April 19: Monadology, p. 68-81
April 26:  Discourse, paragraphs 10, 17-22, 32-36. Monadology, paragraphs 8-12, 56-62.