Essais de Theodicée sur la Bonté de Dieu, la Liberté de l'Homme et l'Origine du Mal. Amsterdam: Isaac Troyel, 1710
2 parts in one volume, 8vo (7 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.; 190 x 118 mm.). Engraved printer's devices on titles, woodcut headpieces; some quires browned and spotted, small tear in upper margin of last leaf. Contemporary Dutch vellum, bibliographic note on front pastedown.
First edition of the most popular work published in his lifetime. Consciously written at a popular level, this became the most widely read of his works. Leibniz coined the term "theodicy" here to mean "justice of God" or that branch of philosophy seeking to reconcile the existence of evil with the assumption of a benevolent God. Composed as a response to Pierre Bayle's view that faith and reason are in opposition, Leibniz tries to reconcile philosophy and theology. His work is dedicated to Sophia Charlotte of Brandenburg (d. 1705) in memory of conversations with her.
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