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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz also known as Baron Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was born in 1646 and died in 1716 A German philosopher mathematician and statesman Leibniz was regarded as one of the supreme intellects of the 17th century Born in Leipzig Germany Leibniz was educated at the universities of Leipzig Jena and Altdorf Beginning in 1666 the year in which he was awarded a doctorate in law he served Johann Philipp von Schnborn archbishop elector of Mainz in a variety of legal political and diplomatic capacities In 1673 when the electors reign ended Leibniz went to Paris He remained there for three years and also visited Amsterdam and London devoting his time to the study of mathematics science and philosophy In 1676 he was appointed librarian and privy councilor at the court of Hanover For the 40 years until his death he served Ernest Augustus duke of Brunswick-Lneburg later elector of Hanover and George Louis elector of Hanover later George I king of Great Britain and Ireland His contemporaries considered Leibniz a universal genius His work encompasses not only mathematics and philosophy but also theology law diplomacy politics history philology and physics Leibnizs contribution in mathematics was to discover in 1675 the fundamental principles of infinitesimal calculus This discovery was arrived at independently of the discoveries of the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton whose system of calculus was invented in 1666 Leibnizs system was published in 1684 Newtons in 1687 and the method of notation devised by Leibniz was universally adopted In 1672 he also invented a calculating machine capable of multiplying dividing and extracting square roots and he is considered a pioneer in the development of mathematical logic In the philosophy expounded by Leibniz the universe is composed of countless conscious centers of spiritual force or energy known as monads Each monad represents an individual microcosm mirroring the universe in varying degrees of perfection and developing independently of all other monads The universe
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