10th Annual Conference (2016) | Leibniz Society of North America
The Leibniz-Caroline-Clarke (Newton) Correspondence
Call for Papers (first announcement)
The 10th annual conference of the Leibniz Society of North America will be held on November 4-6 at the University of Houston in Houston, TX. This year marks the 300th birthday of Leibniz’s death, which occurred on 14 November 1716. During the last year of his life, Leibniz was engaged in his famous correspondence with Samuel Clarke. Clarke had become the front man for the Newtonian cause after Leibniz’s erstwhile friend and follower in Hanover, the newly crowned Princes of Wales, Caroline of Ansbach, showed him a letter she had received from Leibniz in mid-November 1715, a letter in which Leibniz attacked English philosophy in general, and Newtonian philosophy in particular, for contributing to the decline of natural religion in England. When Caroline transmitted Clarke’s first response to Leibniz in her letter of 6 December 1715, the year-long debate, ending only with Leibniz’s death, was officially joined. It ranged over a myriad of issues, among others, the nature of space and time, God and God’s activity in the world and God’s relation to space, miracles, gravity and action at a distance, force, atomism and the possibility of a void, the principle of sufficient reason, the principle of the identity of indiscernibles. Many of these issues reflected methodological differences between Leibniz and the Newtonians in their approaches to natural philosophy; but in an effort to appeal to Caroline’s religious sensibilities, Leibniz strove to keep the debate focused on what he saw as the corrosive effects of Newtonian philosophy on natural religion and its tendency to detract, as Leibniz saw it, from the wisdom God.
In light of the importance of Leibniz’s correspondence with Clarke during the last year of his life, the organizers of the 10th annual conference of the LSNA are particularly interested papers dealing with some aspect of the personal, political, scientific, and philosophical dimensions of the correspondence, as well as with Leibniz’s responses to the Newtonians in general. Discussions of Clarke’s philosophical and theological works in relation to Leibniz and Newton would also be welcome.
Please submit abstracts in Word format to Gregory Brown at email@example.com by 15 August 2016.
Prof. Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77203-3004