Wolff, Baumgarten, and the Technical Idiom of Post-Leibnizian Philosophy of Mind

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 Loyola University New Orleans

Philosophers after Leibniz used a technical idiom to classify and explain the nature of mental content. Substantive philosophical claims were formulated in terms of this vocabulary, including claims about the nature of mental representations, concepts, unconscious mental content, and consciousness. Despite its importance, the origin and development of this vocabulary is insufficiently well understood. More specifically, interpreters have failed to recognize the existence of two distinct and influential versions of the post-Leibnizian idiom. These competing formulations used the same technical terms and taxonomic relations but assigned different connotations to those terms and employed different criteria for their application. This paper explains the two most influential versions of the post-Leibnizian idiom.

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