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101. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 24
Marine Picon Actualism and Analyticity: Leibniz's early thoughts towards a synthesis between Lutheran metaphysics and the foundation of knowledge
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Recent scholarship has established that, until the mid-1670s, Leibniz did not hold the possibilist ontology which, in his mature philosophy, provides the foundation for both his account of human freedom and of eternal truth. Concentrating on the Mainz period (1667-1672), this paper examines the conciliation, in those early writings, of an actualist ontology and a conception of necessary truth as analytical. The first section questions the view that Leibniz was educated in a “Platonist” tradition; the second section presents the actualist metaphysics that he adopted in the wake of his teachers; the third section shows how Leibniz could, contrary to those same teachers, hold an analytical view of eternal truth, even without the support of his later possibilist ontology and doctrine of real definitions.
102. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 24
Ohad Nachtomy, Tamar Levanon On Oneness and Substance in Leibniz’s Middle Years
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We argue in this paper that Leibniz’s characterization of a substance as “un être” in his correspondence with Arnauld stresses the per se unity of substance rather than oneness in number. We employ two central lines of reasoning. The first is a response to Mogens Lærke’s claim that one can mark the difference between Spinoza and Leibniz by observing that, while Spinoza’s notion of substance is essentially non-numerical, Leibniz’s view of substance is numerical. We argue that Leibniz, like Spinoza, qualifies the substance as “one” primarily in a non-numerical sense, where non-numerical means per se unity or qualitative uniqueness. The second line of reasoning suggests that the term “one” should be understood as a-unity-presupposed-by-multiplicity in two senses: a) externally, in the sense of being presupposed by higher complex structures, such as aggregates, and, b) internally, in the sense of having itself a complex structure. We develop an analogy along these lines between the role the notion of a fundamental unity plays in Leibniz’s view of numbers and his view of substance. In other words, we suggest that looking at the role units play in Leibniz’s view of mathematics can shed some light on the role they play in his metaphysics.
103. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 24
Richard T. W. Arthur Reply to Ohad Nachtomy
104. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 24
Philip Beeley Patrick Riley (1941–2015): Some reminiscences and reflections on his life
105. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 24
Patrick Riley In Honorem Irena Backus
106. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Stephen Steward Messeri on the Lucky Proof
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Marco Messeri (2017) offers a new solution to the problem of lucky proof (an influen­tial objection to Leibniz’s infinite-analysis theory of contingency. Messeri claims that contingent truths like “Peter denies Jesus” cannot be proved by a finite analysis because predicates like “denies Jesus” are infinitely complex. I argue that infinitely complex predicates appear in some necessary truths, and that some contingent truths have finitely complex predicates. Messeri’s official account is disjunctive: a truth is contingent just in case either it contains an infinitely complex predicate or it concerns existence. I argue against Messeri’s official account and suggest that some other disjunctive account might be appropriate.
107. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Marco Messeri Remarks on the Lucky Proof Problem
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Several scholars have argued that Leibniz’s infinite analysis theory of contingency faces the Problem of Lucky Proof. This problem will be discussed here and a solution offered, trying to show that Leibniz’s proof-theory does not generate the alleged paradox. It will be stressed that only the opportunity to be proved by God, and not by us, is relevant to the issue of modality. At the heart of our proposal lies the claim that, on the one hand, Leibniz’s individual concepts are saturated conceptual conjunctions, i.e., infinite conjunctions that contain either the concept itself or its privation for every primitive concept; and that, on the other hand, also certain universal concepts of states and acts are infinite conjunctions of primitive concepts and privations, even if insaturated ones. This will suffice to allow that some truths regarding individuals can’t be demonstrated, although they are included in the concept of their subject.
108. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Giovanni Merlo Leibniz and the Problem of Temporary Truths
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Not unlike many contemporary philosophers, Leibniz admitted the existence of temporary truths, true propositions that have not always been or will not always be true. In contrast with contemporary philosophers, though, Leibniz conceived of truth in terms of analytic containment: on his view, the truth of a predicative sentence consists in the analytic containment of the concept expressed by the predicate in the concept expressed by the subject. Given that analytic relations among concepts are eternal and unchanging, the problem arises of explaining how Leibniz reconciled one commitment with the other: how can truth be temporary, if concept-containment is not? This paper presents a new approach to this problem, based on the idea that a concept can be consistent at one time and inconsistent at another. It is argued that, given a proper understanding of what it is for a concept to be consistent, this idea is not as problematic as it may seem at first, and is in fact implied by Leibniz’s general views about propositions, in conjunction with the thesis that some propositions are only temporarily true.
109. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Christopher P. Noble Self-Moving Machines and the Soul: Leibniz Contra Spinoza on the Spiritual Automaton
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The young Spinoza and the mature Leibniz both characterize the soul as a self-moving spiritual automaton. Though it is unclear if Leibniz’s use of the term was suggested to him from his reading of Spinoza, Leibniz was aware of its presence in Spinoza’s Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. Considering Leibniz’s staunch opposition to Spinozism, the question arises as to why he was willing to adopt this term. I propose an answer to this question by comparing the spiritual automaton in both philosophers. For Spinoza, the soul acts as a spiritual automaton when it overcomes imaginative ideas and produces true ideas. For Leibniz, the soul acts as a spiritual automaton when it spontaneously produces its perceptions according to the universal harmony preestablished by God. Thus, for Leibniz contra Spinoza, the spiritual automaton is a means to render intelligible a providential order in which everything happens for the best.
110. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Mogens Lærke Leibniz: On the Cartesian Philosophy (English Translation)
111. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Marko Malink Leibniz’s Theory of Propositional Terms: A Reply to Massimo Mugnai
112. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 27
Julia Jorati Reply to Donald Rutherford
113. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 3
Michael Latzer Leibniz’s Conception of Metaphysical Evil
114. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 4
Michael J. Murray Intellect, Will, and Freedom in Leibniz
115. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 4
Catherine Wilson Reply to Cover’s 1993 Review of Leibniz’s Metaphysics
116. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 4
Donald L.M. Baxter Corporeal Substances and True Unities
117. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 5
Donald Rutherford Reply to Jolley’s Review of Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature
118. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 5
A. Guillermo Ranea News From Argentina
119. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 5
Udo Thiel News from Australia
120. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 5
Massimo Mugnai Reply to Cover’s Review of Leibniz’s Theory of Relations