Leibniz: Nature and Freedom

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Overview

The revival of Leibniz studies in the past twenty-five years has cast important new light on both the context and content of Leibniz's philosophical thought. Where earlier English-language scholarship understood Leibniz's philosophy as issuing from his preoccupations with logic and language, recent work has recommended an account on which theological, ethical, and metaphysical themes figure centrally in Leibniz's thought throughout his career. The significance of these themes to the development of Leibniz's philosophy is the subject of increasing attention by philosophers and historians.

This collection of new essays by a distinguished group of scholars offers an up-to-date overview of the current state of Leibniz research. In focusing on nature and freedom, the volume revisits two key topics in Leibniz's thought, on which he engaged both contemporary and historical arguments. Important contributions to Leibniz scholarship in their own right, these articles collectively provide readers a framework in which to better situate Leibniz's distinctive philosophy of nature and the congenial home for a morally significant freedom that he took it to provide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection offers both historical erudition and conceptual elucidation...with a most helpful editorial introduction to Leibniz's system, the essays are of high quality...A particularly excellent essay, for its thematic focus and clarity, is the one by editor Rutherford."—CHOICE

"...an excellent volume of original essays on the philosophy of Leibniz. Donald Rutherford and J.A. Cover have succeeded in bringing together a strong collection of essays from leading Leibniz scholars.... The essays provide an overview of the current state of Leibniz's research, and advance our understanding of his philosophical system on a number of fronts."—Notre Dame Philosophical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195143744
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2005
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Rutherford is Professor of Philosophy at University of California, San Diego.

J. A. Cover is Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 The one and the many and kinds of distinctness : the possibility of monism or pantheism in the young Leibniz 20
2 Leibniz and Sleigh on substantial unity 44
3 Leibniz on precise shapes and the corporeal world 69
4 Leibniz and idealism 95
5 Compossibility, expression, accommodation 108
6 Leibniz and occasionalism 121
7 Leibniz's two realms 135
8 Leibniz on spontaneity 156
9 Moral necessity 181
10 Spontaneity and freedom in Leibniz 194
11 Leibniz against Molinism : freedom, indifference, and the nature of the will 217
12 Video Meliora Proboque, Deteriora Sequor : Leibniz on the intellectual source of sin 234
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