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Ideas of Jacques Lenfant, by Text

[French, 1661 - 1728, Protestant minister. Correspondent of Leibniz.]

1693 Letters to Leibniz
1693.11.07 p.318 The question is whether force is self-sufficient in bodies, and essential, or dependent on something
     Full Idea: The whole question is to know if the force to act in bodies is in matter something distinct and independent of everything else that one conceives there. Without that, this force cannot be its essence, and will remain the result of some primitive quality.
     From: Jacques Lenfant (Letters to Leibniz [1693], 1693.11.07), quoted by Daniel Garber - Leibniz:Body,Substance,Monad 8
     A reaction: This challenge to Leibniz highlights the drama of trying to simultaneously arrive at explanations of things, and to decide the nature of essence. Leibniz replied that force is primitive, because it is the 'principle' of behaviour and dispositions.