Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von (1646–1716)
In his Essais de théodicée (1710), Leibniz tackled the problem of evil and also spoke of God having created the "best of all possible worlds" ("world" here meaning not simply the Earth but the Universe as a whole). In Leibniz's philosophical view, the universe is composed of countless conscious centers of spiritual force or energy known as monads. Leibniz talks about the "compossible" elements of any possible world – elements that allow a logically consistent structure. He wrote extensively in favor of pluralism and believed in a continuous gradation of life-forms from the simplest to creatures more advanced, physically, intellectually, and spiritually, than ourselves.
Though one of the finest minds of his age, Leibniz was not immune to blunders: he thought it just as easy to throw 12 with a pair of dice as to throw 11.
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