Leibniz and the Radical Enlightenment
Leibniz was unsurpassed as a philosophical critic and observer of his age. He showed consummate discernment in interpreting new intellectual developments wherever in Europe they arose, often, as with his early appreciation of Locke and Newton, preceding most contemporary continental savants by decades. It is therefore of some significance in the history of ideas that Leibniz, more than any other observer of contemporary thought except perhaps Bayle, understood from the outset the wide-ranging implications for all mankind of the new radical philosophical movement. Committed, as he was, to upholding princely authority and religion, and eager to reunite and strengthen the Churches, Leibniz emerged as the foremost and most resolute of all the antagonists of radical thought, as well as the pre-eminent architect of the mainstream, moderate Enlightenment in Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia.
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