The following abbreviations will be used: AA = Kant, 1900-, followed by volume and page number; A = Leibniz, 1923- , followed by series, volume and page number; AG = Leibniz, 1989; C = Leibniz, 1903; G = Leibniz, 1875–90, followed by volume and page number; L = Leibniz, 1969; LDB = Leibniz, 2007; MP = Leibniz, 1973.
Leibniz’s Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Idealism, Realism, and the Nature of Substance
Article first published online: 29 OCT 2010
© 2010 The Author. Philosophy Compass © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 5, Issue 11, pages 871–879, November 2010
How to Cite
Look, B. C. (2010), Leibniz’s Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Idealism, Realism, and the Nature of Substance. Philosophy Compass, 5: 871–879. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2010.00338.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 29 OCT 2010
According to the standard view of his metaphysics, Leibniz endorses idealism: the thesis that the world is made up solely of minds or monads and their perceptual and appetitive states. Recently, this view has been challenged by some scholars, who argue that Leibniz can be seen as admitting corporeal substances, that is, animals or embodied souls, into his ontology, and that, therefore, it is false to attribute a strict idealism to him. Subtler accounts suggest that Leibniz begins his philosophical career as an advocate of (some form of) the modern ‘mechanical’ philosophy and ends his career as an idealist, raising the issue when and why Leibniz adopts his monadological metaphysics. This article argues that, given a constellation of metaphysical, logical, and theological views, Leibniz is committed to the ontological primacy of mind or form even in his ‘middle years’.