Leibniz never addressed systematically the sceptical issue in its various historical and conceptual dimensions. Nevertheless he progressively met different challenges and arguments throughout his innumerable readings, correspondences and writings displaying different faces of scepticism: the Academic negative meta-dogmatism of Francisco Sanches; Simon Foucher’s middle way; the three related figures of the libertine misosopher, of the fideist after Bayle’s manner, and of a fictitious ‘Sceptician’; and eventually, at the end of his life, Sextus Empiricus’ neo-pyrrhonism. Yet the meaning of his opposition to scepticism is not the same in all those cases: on the one hand, he claims that metaphysical and epistemological sceptical challenges can be refuted by rational arguments; on the other hand, he acknowledges the practical difficulties to overthrow the more dangerous moral and religious scepticism.


Moral Assurance Christian Religion Respective Degree Sceptical Challenge Fundamental Truth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bayle, Pierre. 1740. Dictionnaire historique et critique, 4 vols. Amsterdam: Brunel.Google Scholar
  2. Descartes, René. 1897–1913. Œuvres, ed. C. Adam and P. Tannery, 13 vols. Paris: Léopold Cerf.Google Scholar
  3. Foucher, Simon. 1675. Critique de la Recherche de la vérité. Où l’on examine en même temps une partie des Principes de Mr Descartes. Lettre par un Académicien. Paris: Coustelier.Google Scholar
  4. Foucher, Simon. 1676. Réponse pour la critique à la préface du second volume de la Recherche de la Vérité. Où l’on examine le sentiment de M. Descartes touchant les idées avec plusieurs remarques utiles pour les sciences. Paris: Charles Angot.Google Scholar
  5. Foucher, Simon. 1679. Nouvelle Dissertation sur la recherche de la verité, contenant la reponse de la critique à la critique de la recherche de la verite. Avec une discution particuliere du grand principe des Cartesiens. Paris: La Caille.Google Scholar
  6. Foucher, Simon. 1686–1687. Réponse à la critique de la critique de la recherche de la vérité, sur la philosophie des Académiciens. Paris: Antoine Lambin.Google Scholar
  7. Foucher, Simon. 1690. Dissertations sur la recherche de la vérité ou sur la philosophie des Académiciens. Livre premier, contenant l’Histoire de ces Philosophes. Paris: Antoine Lambin.Google Scholar
  8. Garber, Daniel. 2009. Leibniz: Body, substance, monad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Huet, Pierre-Daniel. 1679. Demonstratio evangelica ad serenissimum Delphinum. Paris: Michallet.Google Scholar
  10. Huet, Pierre-Daniel. 1689. Censura Philosophiae Cartesianae. Paris: D. Horthemels.Google Scholar
  11. Leibniz, G.W. 1734–1742. Godefridi Guilielmi Leibnitii epistolae ad diversos, 4 vols. Lipsiae: Breitkopfii.Google Scholar
  12. Leibniz, G.W. 1768. Opera omnia, 4 vols. Genève  : de Tournes.Google Scholar
  13. Leibniz, G.W. 1875–1899. Die Philosophischen Schriften von G. W. Leibniz, 7 vols. Berlin: Weidmann.Google Scholar
  14. Leibniz, G.W. 1923ff. Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe. Darmstadt/Leipzig/Berlin: Akademie Verlag.Google Scholar
  15. Matsuda, T. 2001. A Leibnizian attempt to refute Pyrrhonian scepticism in an unpublished manuscript of 1711. Annual reports of Humanities and Social Sciences Bunkagaku-Nenpo, Kobe, 20.Google Scholar
  16. Olaso, Ezequiel de. 1974. Objections inédites de Leibniz au principe sceptique de l’équipollence. In Akten des 4. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, 52–59. Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  17. Olaso, Ezequiel de. 1994. Preliminary Considerations on a Possible Method for Leibniz’s Discussion with the Sceptics. In Leibniz und Europa, ed. A. Heinekamp and I. Hein, 557–564. Hannover: Schlütersche.Google Scholar
  18. Olaso, Ezequiel de. 1997. Leibniz and scepticism. In Scepticism in the enlightenment, ed. R.H. Popkin, E. de Olaso, and G. Tonelli, 99–130. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  19. Pascal, Blaise. 1963. Œuvres complètes. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  20. Pelletier, Arnaud. 2009. Leibniz et la folie. Philosophie 103: 26–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Popkin, Richard. 1966. Leibniz and the French sceptics. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 76–77: 228–248.Google Scholar
  22. Sextus Empiricus. 1994. Outlines of scepticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1969. On certainty. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Leibniz-ArchivHanoverGermany

Personalised recommendations