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

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1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / b. Seventeenth century philosophy
Leibniz aims to give coherent rational support for empiricism
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a science of the intelligible nature of being [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science
Leibniz tried to combine mechanistic physics with scholastic metaphysics [Pasnau]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 1. On Reason
Reason is the faculty for grasping apriori necessary truths [Burge]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
For Leibniz rationality is based on non-contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason [Benardete,JA]
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 [Benardete,JA]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 6. Conclusive Proof
Leibniz is inclined to regard all truths as provable [Frege]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / a. Units
Number cannot be defined as addition of ones, since that needs the number; it is a single act of abstraction
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. The Infinite / j. Infinite divisibility
The continuum is not divided like sand, but folded like paper [Arthur,R]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. The Infinite / k. Infinitesimals
Nature uses the infinite everywhere
A tangent is a line connecting two points on a curve that are infinitely close together
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 [Jolley]
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
If relations can be reduced to, or supervene on, monadic properties of relata, they are not real [Swoyer]
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 [Garber]
The essence of a thing is its real possibilities [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
Leibniz moved from individuation by whole entity to individuation by substantial form [Garber]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
The laws-of-the-series plays a haecceitist role [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
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 [Adams,RM]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
Leibnizian substances add concept, law, force, form and soul [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
Substances are essentially active [Jolley]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
Leibniz strengthened hylomorphism by connecting it to force in physics [Garber]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
Leibniz's view (that all properties are essential) is extreme essentialism, not its denial [Mackie,P]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism
Leibniz was not an essentialist [Wiggins]
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 [Hacking]
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 [Harré]
Each monad expresses all its compatible monads; a possible world is the resulting equivalence class [Rumfitt]
Leibniz proposed possible worlds, because they might be evil, where God would not create evil things [Stewart,M]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
Leibniz has a counterpart view of de re counterfactuals [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
For Leibniz, divine understanding grasps every conceivable possibility [Perkins]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism
Leibniz said dualism of mind and body is illusion, and there is only mind [Martin/Barresi]
Leibniz is an idealist insofar as the basic components of his universe are all mental [Jolley]
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 [Perkins]
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 [Martin/Barresi]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 4. Occasionalism
Occasionalism give a false view of natural laws, miracles, and substances [Jolley]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / a. Origin of concepts
Concepts are ordered, and show eternal possibilities, deriving from God [Arthur,R]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / a. Sentence meaning
Leibniz was the first modern to focus on sentence-sized units (where empiricists preferred word-size) [Hart,WD]
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 [Perkins]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 4. Beauty
Leibniz identified beauty with intellectual perfection [Gardner]
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 [Jolley]
25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / b. Natural law
Natural law theory is found in Aquinas, in Leibniz, and at the Nuremberg trials [Jolley]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism
Leibniz rejected atoms, because they must be elastic, and hence have parts [Garber]
Microscopes and the continuum suggest that matter is endlessly divisible
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / a. Early Modern matter
Leibniz struggled to reconcile bodies with a reality of purely soul-like entities [Jolley]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / c. Matter as extension
Leibniz eventually said resistance, rather than extension, was the essence of body [Pasnau]
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 [Garber]
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 [Papineau]
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / c. Forces
Leibniz uses 'force' to mean both activity and potential
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / a. Ontological Proof
God's existence is either necessary or impossible [Scruton]
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
Leibniz was closer than Spinoza to atheism [Stewart,M]