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1 The Rationalists: Leibniz Individual Substances Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Rationalists: Leibniz Individual Substances Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Rationalists: Leibniz Individual Substances Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana

2 2Outline 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

3 3Review: Leibniz: Rationalism Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Epistemology: - Granted to the empiricist: empirical knowledge - Against the empiricist: knowledge of eternal truths - Granted to the empiricist: senses as necessary triggers - Against the empiricist: ultimately grounded in pure reason Two kinds of truths: - Necessary Truths – Contradiction - Contingent Truths – Sufficient Reason

4 4Review: Leibniz: Theodicy Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Starting Point of Leibniz’ philosophy: - God is absolutely perfect - Hence the world is perfect Perfect in which sense? - God’s Freedom is enlightened, not arbitrary - Perfection = minimal means, maximal complexity  The best possible world

5 5Introduction: Leibniz: Metaphysics Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana The dangers of the modern reductionism - Descartes: matter = extension and movement - Spinoza: one single substance  Materialism, necessitarianism, atheism The conceptual problems within modern reductionism: - Individuation - Freedom with teleology - Moral responsibility

6 6Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

7 7 Individual Substances and Predication Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Previous notions of substance - self-sufficient being (Spinoza) - what remains constant under changes (wax) Substance as the subject of predication - What is predication? Assign a predicate to a subject Jalisco is a cat - From language to metaphysics - Substances are these beings which are referred to by subjects which cannot be predicated - Which are they?

8 8Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

9 9 Individual Substances as the Fundamental Constituents of the Universe Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Taking seriously the notion of substance: - Unique individuals – Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles - Indivisible – ultimate elements - Immutable – except by God - Depend only on God – emanation from God

10 10Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

11 11 Individual Substances as Self-Contained Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Requirements for a satisfactory metaphysics: - Fundamental constituents - Recover appearances Problem: How come that individual substances appear to undergo accidental changes? Solution: Self-containment The complete notion of an individual substances contains all the predicates that the substance has had, has and will have Examples?

12 12Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

13 13 Individual Substances defined by their Substantial Form Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana The old notion of substantial form: - Crucial notion for Aristotle and the Scholastics - Example: the socrates-hood of Socrates  What makes something what it is Despised by modern philosopher: vacuous explanation Defended by Leibniz for metaphysics: - vacuous explanation in physics - clock - necessary in metaphysics – unity and individuation

14 14Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

15 15 Individual Substances as Independent Mirrors of the Universe Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Requirements for a satisfactory metaphysics Problem: The appearance that each substance interact with the external world? Solution: Mirrors of the Universe Each individual substance expresses the entirety of the universe from its own perspective Analogy: movie theater

16 16Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

17 17 Pre-established Harmony Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Requirements for a satisfactory metaphysics Problem: Correlations between our world – causal connections Are we watching movies independently or acting in the same movie? Solution: Pre-established Harmony - Correlations: direct causal influence vs. synchronization - Super synchronization by God’s decree Analogy Appearance of causality: - Causality is an illusion - Causal Influences: restriction/expansion of the domain of expression

18 18Outline Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana 1. Introduction 2. Individual Substances and Predication 3. Individual Substances as the fundamental constituents 4. Individual Substances are ``self contained” 5. Individual Substances and their Substantial Form 6. Individual Substances: Independent Mirrors 7. Pre-established Harmony 8. Conclusion

19 19 Conclusion on Leibniz’ Metaphysics Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana Fundamental Level: Independent, self-contained, unique, indivisible and immutable substances emanating from God: - Each possesses an intrinsic principle of unity - Each expresses the entire universe from its unique perspective - All perspectives are synchronized Phenomenal Level: Well grounded illusion of a causal order between interacting systems in a common, material world.


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