perfection, principle of

Also called the principle of the best.

Principle of German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) argued that Leibniz did not fully distinguish this principle from that of sufficient reason.

B Russell, A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz (1900), §§14-15

Perfection is a state, variously, of completeness, flawlessness, or supreme excellence.

The term is used to designate a range of diverse, if often kindred, concepts. These have historically been addressed in a number of discrete disciplines, notably mathematics, physics, chemistry, ethics, aesthetics, ontology, and theology.

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