Historical Roots of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s Universal Science
Throughout the twentieth century, glaciologists and geophysicists from Denmark, Norway andSweden made important scientific contributions across the Arctic and Antarctic. This research was of acute security and policy interest during the Cold War, as knowledge of the polar regions assumed military importance. But scientists also helped make the polar regionsNordic spaces in a cultural and political sense, with scientists from Norden punching far above their weight in terms of population, geographical size or economic activity. This volume presents an image of Norden that stretches far beyond its conventional limits,covering a vast area in the North Atlantic and the Arctic Sea, as well as parts of Antarctica. Rich in resources, scarce in population, but critically important in global and regional geopolitics, these spaces were contested by major powers such as Russia, the United States, Canada and, in the Antarctic, Argentina, Australia, South Africa and others. The empirical focus on Danish, Norwegian and Swedish influence in the polar regions during the twentieth century embraces a diverse array of themes, from the role of science in policy and diplomacy to the tensions between nationalism and internationalism, with clear relevance to the important role science plays in contemporary discussions about Nordic engagement with the polar regions.
This contribution to a volume on the“ultimate why-question” discusses ambiguities in Leibniz’s formulation of the question, “[. . . ] pourquoi il y a plus tôt quelque chose que rien”. This formulation poses two problems: Leibniz does not explain how to understand the concepts of “something” and “nothing”. And it is not clear, whether “something” and “nothing” are contradictory opposites, so that there is either nothing or something, or whether both concepts denote principles which are effective in the world at the same time. My analysis rests on the hypothesis that the relevant context for Leibniz’s question is the theology of creation.
Hence, the paper compares eight different approaches to “creation from nothing” (Thomists, Scotists, Taurellus, Lubinus, Timpler, Keckermann, Kircher, Knorr von Rosenroth, van Helmont). Candidates for the nihil the world was created from include absolute non-being, thoughts in God’s mind, unformed matter, imaginary space, or a self-contraction of the Divine spirit. These different approaches can be translated into different versions of the “ultimate why-question”. The paper concludes that Leibniz’s formulation contains a comparison between two Divine acts of creation, because not only “something”, but “nothing” as well owes its subsistence to the Divine will. This rises substantial questions: either God created first an imperfect entity in order to create the world as a whole, or Leibniz subscribes to an emanative understanding of creation that either levels the difference between creation and (natural) generation or is based on misunderstanding God as a material entity.
This article deals with the concept of omnipotence very important for contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. Within the analytic tradition it is usual to uncover an apparent tension between God’s omnipotence and other divine attributes. In response, some authors have proposed their own ideas on how classical problems of omnipotence can be solved in terms of possible worlds theory. In this paper we aim to consider the approaches developed by Geach, Adams and Plantinga. While admitting that each of them has made a significant contribution to the refinement of the concept of omnipotence, we still point out a number of important challenges that these authors were not able to overcome.
The article provides a brief overview of life and works by I. Kh. Ozerov (1869-1942), a professor of financial law at Moscow and St. Petersburg State Universities, in terms oh his contribution into financial and legal studies in Russia at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. The article precedes the publication of a work by I. Kh. Ozerov On the research methods in financial studies which formulate the sociological methods of investigating the financial relationships.