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Leibniz on the Metaphysics of Color



Drawing on remarks scattered through his writings, I argue that Leibniz has a highly distinctive and interesting theory of color. The central feature of the theory is the way in which it combines a nuanced subjectivism about color with a reductive approach of a sort usually associated with objectivist theories of color. After reconstructing Leibniz's theory and calling attention to some of its most notable attractions, I turn to the apparent incompatibility of its subjective and reductive components. I argue that this apparent tension vanishes in light of his rejection of a widely accepted doctrine concerning the nature of bodies and their geometrical qualities.