Dissertation on the Art of Combinations

1666, (Selections)
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYHL, volume 2)


The Dissertatio de arte combinatoria, which Leibniz published in 1666, was an expansion of the dissertation and theses submitted for disputation the same year to qualify for a position in the philosophical faculty at Leipzig. The work contains the germ of the plan for a universal characteristic and logical calculus, which was to occupy his thinking for the rest of his life. That project is here conceived as a problem in the arithmetical combination of simple into complex concepts, Leibniz deriving basic theorems on permutation and combination and applying them to the classification of cases in logic, law, theology, and other fields of thought. His later judgment on the work was that in spite of its immaturity and its defects, especially in mathematics, its basic purpose was sound.

Three introductory sections which supply the metaphysical and logical foundations of work are given here. They are (I) a demonstration of the existence of God with which he prefaced the work; (II) the ‘corollaries’ prepared for the disputation; and (III) the definitions introducing the work itself The solution of the first two problems and several applications are also included


Geometric Progression Preceding Number Philosophical Paper Logical Calculus Cosmological Argument 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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