Ideas from 'works' by Gottfried Leibniz [1690], by Theme Structure

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a science of the intelligible nature of being
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 1. On Reason
Reason is the faculty for grasping apriori necessary truths
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
For Leibniz rationality is based on non-contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 2. Sufficient Reason
Leibniz said the principle of sufficient reason is synthetic a priori, since its denial is not illogical
2. Reason / E. Argument / 6. Conclusive Proof
Leibniz is inclined to regard all truths as provable
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / k. Infinite divisibility
The continuum is not divided like sand, but folded like paper
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / l. Infinitesimals
A tangent is a line connecting two points on a curve that are infinitely close together
Nature uses the infinite everywhere
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / c. Monads
Leibniz proposes monads, since there must be basic things, which are immaterial in order to have unity
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
Relations aren't in any monad, so they are distributed, so they are not real
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
Forms have sensation and appetite, the latter being the ability to act on other bodies
The essence of a thing is its real possibilities
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
Leibniz moved from individuation by whole entity to individuation by substantial form
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
The laws-of-the-series plays a haecceitist role
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
Identity of a substance is the law of its persistence
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / c. Unity as conceptual
Leibniz bases pure primitive entities on conjunctions of qualitative properties
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Leibnizian substances add concept, law, force, form and soul
Substances are essentially active
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
Leibniz strengthened hylomorphism by connecting it to force in physics
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
Leibniz's view (that all properties are essential) is extreme essentialism, not its denial
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
Two eggs can't be identical, because the same truths can't apply to both of them
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 9. Sameness
Things are the same if one can be substituted for the other without loss of truth
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
Necessary truths are those provable from identities by pure logic in finite steps
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
How can things be incompatible, if all positive terms seem to be compatible?
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
A reason must be given why contingent beings should exist rather than not exist
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / a. Possible worlds
Leibniz narrows down God's options to one, by non-contradiction, sufficient reason, indiscernibles, compossibility
Each monad expresses all its compatible monads; a possible world is the resulting equivalence class
Leibniz proposed possible worlds, because they might be evil, where God would not create evil things
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
Leibniz has a counterpart view of de re counterfactuals
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
For Leibniz, divine understanding grasps every conceivable possibility
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
Leibniz is an idealist insofar as the basic components of his universe are all mental
Leibniz said dualism of mind and body is illusion, and there is only mind
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence
The essence of substance is the law of its changes, as in the series of numbers
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / a. Consciousness
Leibniz introduced the idea of degrees of consciousness, essential for his monads
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / a. Determinism
We think we are free because the causes of the will are unknown; determinism is a false problem
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 3. Panpsychism
Leibniz has a panpsychist view that physical points are spiritual
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 4. Occasionalism
Occasionalism give a false view of natural laws, miracles, and substances
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / a. Origin of concepts
Concepts are ordered, and show eternal possibilities, deriving from God
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
Limited awareness leads to bad choices, and unconscious awareness makes us choose the bad
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty
Leibniz identified beauty with intellectual perfection
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
Humans are moral, and capable of reward and punishment, because of memory and self-consciousness
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / c. Essence and laws
Leibniz wanted to explain motion and its laws by the nature of body
The law within something fixes its persistence, and accords with general laws of nature
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 10. Closure of Physics
Leibniz had an unusual commitment to the causal completeness of physics
27. Natural Reality / B. Early Matter Theories / 4. Atomism
Leibniz rejected atoms, because they must be elastic, and hence have parts
Microscopes and the continuum suggest that matter is endlessly divisible
27. Natural Reality / B. Early Matter Theories / 5. Early Modern Matter
Leibniz struggled to reconcile bodies with a reality of purely soul-like entities
27. Natural Reality / B. Early Matter Theories / 7. Matter as Extension
Leibniz eventually said resistance, rather than extension, was the essence of body
27. Natural Reality / D. Activity of Matter / 2. Forces
Leibniz uses 'force' to mean both activity and potential
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 1. Ontological Proof
God's existence is either necessary or impossible