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1. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Mogens Lærke Quod non omnia possibilia ad existentiam perveniant: Leibniz’s ontology of possibility, 1668-1678
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In the Nouveaux Essais, Leibniz famously declared that he once had “begun to lean towards” Spinozist necessitarianism. In this article, I argue that this remark refers to his modal philosophy anterior to 1677. Leibniz’s mature refutation of Spinoza’s necessitarianism relies on the notion that pure possibility has some sort of reality in God’s mind, because only this allows for a strong notion of divine choice. But I believe that Leibniz only developed this ontology of possibility after 1677. Before this date, he inclined towards the view that non existing possibilities are mere logical abstractions that God never actually conceives. In order to show this, I analyze a series of early texts written between 1668 and 1676. Next, I consider a series of texts from 1677-1678, where Leibniz developed his ontology of possibility and put it to use against Spinozist necessitarianism for the first time.
2. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Jeffrey K. McDonough Leibniz: Creation and Conservation and Concurrence
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In this paper I argue that the hoary theological doctrine of divine concurrence poses no deep threat to Leibniz’s views on theodicy and creaturely activity even as those views have been traditionally understood. The first three sections examine respectively Leibniz’s views on creation, conservation and concurrence, with an eye towards showing their sys­tematic compatibility with Leibniz’s theodicy and metaphysics. The fourth section takes up remaining worries arising from the bridging principle that conservation is a continued or continuous creation, and argues that they can be allayed once two readings of the prin­ciple are distinguished. What emerges from the discussion as a whole is, I hope, a clearer picture of Leibniz’s views on the nature of monadic causation, his understanding of the relationship between divine and creaturely activity, and his position with respect to later medieval and early modern debates over secondary causation.
3. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Samuel Levey On Unity and Simple Substance in Leibniz
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What is Leibniz’s argument for simple substances? I propose that it is an extension of his prior argument for incorporeal forms as principles of unity for individual corporeal substances. The extension involves seeing the hylomorphic analysis of corporeal substances as implying a resolution of matter into forms, and this seems to demand that forms, which are themselves simple, be the only elements of things. The argument for simples thus presupposes the existence of corporeal substances as a key premise. Yet a theory of simple substances as the elements of things threatens to preclude the existence of corporeal substances for Leibniz, and the extension of the argument for forms into an argument for simples is not cogent. If nothing else rides on the simplicity of individual substances, then perhaps instead of being its most fundamental tenet, the doctrine of simples—the monadology—is something that over-extends and destabilizes Leibniz’s metaphysics.
4. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Ursula Goldenbaum Why Shouldn’t Leibniz Have Studied Spinoza?: The Rise of the Claim of Continuity in Leibniz’ Philosophy out of the Ideological Rejection of Spinoza’s Impact on Leibniz
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In light of the growing interest in the relation between Leibniz and Spinoza in recent years, I would like to draw attention to earlier discussions of this topic in Germany and France during the 19th century. Stein and Erdmann argued that Spinoza had an impact on Leibniz. According to their critics Guhrauer, Trendelenburg and Gerhardt in Germany, as well as Foucher de Careil in France, Leibniz studied Spinoza only after the main points of his system were already developed. I will show that the well known thesis about the amazing continuity in Leibniz’ thinking is due to this claim of a general chronological impossibility of any impact of Spinoza on Leibniz. This thesis was then canonized in Mahnke’s book about the young Leibniz and has determined the view of Leibniz since the end of the 19th century. It has only in recent years come to be increasingly challenged.
leibniz texts
5. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Justin E. H. Smith The Body-Machine in Leibniz’s Early Physiological and Medical Writings: A Selection of Texts with Commentary
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Other than the historical writings, the edition of which has yet to begin, Series VIII of the Academy Edition of Leibniz’s writings, presenting his “natural-scientific, medical, and technical” contributions, has been, since the project began in 1923, consistently deemed to be of low priority, and it is only very recently that the project has got fully underway. Coming, as it does, nearer to the end of the edition of the complete works, Series VIII has the advantage of accumulating some of the ‘run-off’ of the philosophical writings, that is, texts of philosophical import that for whatever reason were not initially deemed sufficiently philosophical to be included in Series II or VI. Currently in preparation are the writings on chemistry, hydrology, and other natural sciences. The medical and ‘biological’ manuscripts, identified as ‘LH III’, will be edited likely some years from now.2 On our reading of these manuscripts, all or most are of at least some interest to the scholar of Leibniz’s philosophy.
book reviews
6. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Marcy P. Lascano Studies in Leibniz’s Cosmology (Nicholas Rescher Collected Papers Volume XIII)
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7. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Patrick Riley Sämtliche Schriften und Briefe, Reihe IV, Politische Schriften
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8. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Herbert Breger News from the Leibniz-Gesellschaft
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9. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Recent Works on Leibniz
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10. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 17
Acknowledgments, Abbreviations Used in Articles and Reviews
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