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21. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
Philip Beeley Leibniz on the Limits of Human Knowledge: With a Critical Edition of Sur la calculabilité du nombre de toutes les connaissances possibles
22. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
Andreas Blank Incomplete Entities, Natural Non-separability, and Leibniz’s Response to François Lamy’s De la Conoissance de soi-même
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Robert M. Adams claims that Leibniz’s rehahilitation of the doctrine of incomplete entities is the most sustained etlort to integrate a theory of corporeal substances into the theory of simple substances. I discuss alternative interpretations of the theory of incomplete entities suggested by Marleen Rozemond and Pauline Phemister. Against Rozemond, I argue that the scholastic doctrine of incomplete entities is not dependent on a hylomorphic analysis of corporeal substances, and therefore can be adapted by Leibniz. Against Phemister, I claim that Leibniz did not reduce the passivity of corporeal substances to modifications of passive aspects of simple substances. Against Adams, I argue that Leibniz’s theory of the incompleteness of the mind cannot be understood adequately without understanding the reasons for his assertion that matter is incomplete without minds. Composite substances are seen as requisites for the reality of the material world, and therefore cannot be eliminated from Leibniz’s metaphysics.
23. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
24. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
25. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
Patrick Riley Leibniz’s Méditation sur la notion commune de la justice, 1703-2003
26. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 13
Jack D. Davidson Leibniz on the Labyrinth of Freedom: Two Early Texts
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Leibniz devoted immense energy and thought to questions concerning moral responsibility and human freedom. This paper examines Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin in two important early texts - “Von der Allmacht Allmacht und Allwissenheit Gottes und der Freiheit des Menschen” and “Confessio Philosophi” - as a propaedeutic to a detailed examination of the development of Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin. In particular, my aim is to see if Leibniz’s early thinking on freedom and sin in these early writings was among those metaphysical topics about which he changed his mind. My focus is on human, not divine, freedom, and the young Leibniz’s metaphysical psychology, rather than his early efforts in theodicy. I conclude that Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin are in place as early as 1672/3, and remain relatively stable thereafter.
27. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Andreas Blank Definitions, Sorites Arguments, and Leibniz’s Méditation sur la notion commune de la justice
28. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Michael J. Murray Pre-Leibnizian Moral Necessity
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The mature Leibniz frequently uses the phrase “moral necessity” in the context of discussing free choice. In this essay I provide a seventeenth century geneology of the phrase. I show that the doctrine of moral necessity was developed by scholastic philosophers who sought to retain a robust notion of freedom while purging bruteness from their systems. Two sorts of bruteness were special targets. The first is metaphysical bruteness, according to which contingent events or states of affairs occur without a sufficient explanation. The second is semantic bruteness according to which a proposition can be true without a truth maker. Denying eithersort of bruteness was thought by some to raise problems for freedom. Defenders of moral necessity thought the notion solved these problems without having to invoke bruteness.
29. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz On Estimating the Uncertain
30. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Wolfgang David Cirilo de Melo, James Cussens Leibniz on Estimating the Uncertain: An English Translation of De incerti aestimatione with Commentary
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Leibniz’s De incerti aestimatione, which contains his solution to the division problem, has not received much attention, let alone much appreciation. This is surprising because it is in this work that the definition of probability in terms of equally possible cases appears for the first time. The division problem is used to establish and test probability theory; it can be stated as follows: if two players agree to play a game in which one has to win a certain number of rounds in order to win the pool, but if they break the game off before either of them has won the required number of rounds, how should the pool be distributed?Our article has two aims: it provides the readers with the first published English translation of De incerti aestimatione, and it also gives them a brief commentary that explains Leibniz’s philosophical and mathematical concepts necessary in order to understand this work. The translation is as literal as possible throughout; it shows how Leibniz struggled at times to find a solution to the division problem and how he approached it from different angles. The commentary discusses Leibniz’s views on four key concepts: fairness, hope, authority and possibility. The commentary then outlines how Leibniz attempted to solve the problem of division.
31. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Marcelo Dascal Alter et etiam: Rejoinder to Schepers
32. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Heinrich Schepers Non alter, sed etiam Leibnitius: Reply to Dascal’s Review Ex pluribus unum?
33. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 14
Dennis Plaisted Reply to Cover
34. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Brandon C. Look Leibniz and the Shelf of Essence
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This paper addresses D. C. Williams’s question, “How can Leibniz know that he is a member of the actual world and not merely a possible monad on the shelf of essence?” A variety of answers are considered. Ultimately, it is argued that no particular perception of a state of affairs in the world can warrant knowledge of one’s actuality, nor can the awareness of any property within oneself; rather, it is the nature of experience itself, with the flow of perceptions, that guarantees our actuality. A consequence of this view is that no non-actual individuals can truly be said to experience their worlds, nor can they ask the question if they are actual or not.
35. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Vincenzo De Risi Leibniz on Geometry: Two Unpublished Texts with Translation and Commentary
36. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Patrick Riley Leibniz’ Méditation sur la notion commune de la justice: A Reply to Andreas Blank
37. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Stefano Di Bella Leibniz’s Theory of Conditions: A Framework for Ontological Dependence
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The aim of this paper is to trace in Leibniz’s drafts the sketched outline of a conceptual framework he organized around the key concept of ‘requisite’. We are faced with the project of a semi-formal theory of conditions, whose logical skeleton can have a lot of different interpretations. In particular, it is well suited to capture some crucial relations of ontological dependence. Firstly the area of ‘mediate requisites’ is explored - where causal and temporal relations are dealt with on the basis of a general theory of ‘consequence’.Then the study of ‘immediate requisites’ is taken into account - a true sample of mereological inquiry, where Leibniz strives for a unitary treatment of part-whole relation, conceptual inclusion and inherence. Far from simply conflating these relations one with another and with causality, therefore, Leibniz tried to spell them out, while at the same time understanding them within a single conceptual framework.
38. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Stephen M. Puryear Was Leibniz Confused about Confusion?
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Leibniz’s physicalism about colors and other sensible qualities commits him to two theses about our knowledge of those qualities: first, that we can acquire ideas of sensible qualities apart from any direct acquaintance with the qualities themselves; second, that we can acquire distinct (i.e., non-confused) ideas of such qualities through the development of physical-theoretical accounts. According to some commentators, however, Leibniz frequently denies both claims. His views on the subject are muddled and incoherent, they say, both because he is ambivalent about the nature of sensible qualities, and because he gets confused about confusion, losing sight of his own distinction between the confusion proper to perceptions and that proper to ideas. In opposition to this, I argue that the critics have misunderstood Leibniz’s views, which are both consistent over time and coherent. The key to understanding his position is toappreciate what he characterizes as a kind of redundancy in our ideas of sensible qualities, a crucial feature of his view overlooked by the critics.
39. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
(LH XXXV, I, 14, bl. 23-24)
40. The Leibniz Review: Volume > 15
Ohad Nachtomy Leibniz on the Greatest Number and the Greatest Being
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In notes from 1675-76 Leibniz is using the notion of an infinite number as an illustration of an impossible notion. In the same notes, he is also using this notion in contrast to the possibility of the ‘Ens perfectissumum’ (A.6.3 572; Pk 91; A.6.3 325). I suggest that Leibniz’s concern about the possibility of the notion of ‘the greatest or the most perfect being’ is partly motivated by his observation that similar notions, such as ‘the greatest number’, are impossible. This leads to the question how Leibniz convinced himself that the notion of the greatest number is self-contradictory and that of the greatest being is not. I consider two suggestions, one that stress the difference between beings and numbers and one that stress the difference between two notions of infinity, and conclude that neither of them provides a satisfactory solution to this question.