Theoria cum Praxi: Leibniz's Legacy into the Future

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores some of the ways in which Leibniz sought to combine his theoretical investigations with practical projects in pursuit of the common good and considers how this methodological model might be—and in at least one instance is—bearing fruit in animal studies and environmentalism. Scene setting remarks introduce Leibniz’s proposed strategies for the restoration of harmony through the resolution of conflicts. There follows consideration of Leibniz ‘s theoretical studies on language and conceptual analysis and their role within Leibniz’s efforts to foster European-Chinese cultural exchange. Leibniz was convinced that the advancement of peace and harmony among humans was most effectively secured through encouraging mutual understanding and collaborative enquiry. Cultural exchange has a part to play, but so too do the research investigations and practical projects tasked to the Scientific Academies, as envisaged by Leibniz. His vision for the Academies is discussed briefly before turning to the question of the significance of Leibniz’s theoretical-practical endeavors in the contemporary context. Here, we discover how Leibniz’s approach resonates today, albeit implicitly, in the methods and aspirations of Denise Herzing’s Wild Dolphin Project, where the Leibnizian goal of mutual understanding and respect among humans is being extended beyond the human, helping to foster harmonious relationships between humans and other creatures in nature and encouraging the development of sound environmental policies for their protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeibniz's Legacy and Impact
EditorsJulia Weckend, Lloyd Strickland
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN9781315103570
ISBN (Print)9781138102620
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2019


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