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G.W. Leibniz: Moderation And Censorship

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the key to understanding G.W. Leibniz's position concerning the limits of tolerance and the liberty of expression is the term 'moderation'. It points out how this notion plays a crucial role in his discussions of liberty of expression and censorship. The importance of the ideal of moderation can be felt both on the side of the censor and that of the censoree. Thus the chapter considers the censoree side of the censor-censoree relation. It outlines Leibniz's stance in relation to a series of doctrines or currents in seventeenth century thought which were all considered to be 'dangerous' and thus candidates for censorship. Next, the chapter discusses the other side of the censor-censoree relation and examines closely what Leibniz had to say about legitimate or useful censorship. It argues that Leibnizwas not against censorship, but remained opposed to excessive censorship and abuse of the 'way of authority'.

Keywords: censorship; G.w. Leibniz; moderation



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