Simples, Representational Activity, and the Communication among Substances: Leibniz and Wolff on pre-established Harmony

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 King’s College London

This article aims to make further progress in revising the standard account of Wolff’s philosophy as a popularisation and systematisation of Leibniz’s doctrines. It focuses on the topic of the communication among substances and the metaphysics of simples and activity underlying it. It is argued that Wolff does not accept the pre-established harmony (PEH) in its orthodox Leibnizian version. The article explains Wolff’s departure from Leibniz’s PEH as stemming from his rejection of Leibniz’s construal of the activity of every simple as representational power and of the metaphysics of unity and activity in which that construal is rooted.

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