Harman on Leibniz

He picks up on Elden’s discussion here. I think much of Harman’s points are right, especially that Leibniz is most likely to be mocked. He then writes:

And then there was that horrible book, The Courtier and the Heretic, a simple ripoff of Amadeus, with Leibniz cast as a “nerd” version of Salieri: a gawky, resentful, physically repugnant hater who pathetically demanded recognition from Spinoza even while plotting his downfall (indeed, perhaps even murdering Spinoza, according to the wildest innuendo in the book, with the baseless sexual speculations a distant second).

It’s certainly true that Spinoza comes off better in that book, though I really don’t recall the innuendo about murder, or much speculation about sex. (There is anti-speculation speculation: there is no “evidence” that Leibniz ever had a sexual partner, if I recall one sentence.) But yes, a simplistic book, but typical of certain genre.

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