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Leibniz’s claim that it is possible for us to gain metaphysical knowledge through reflection on the self has intrigued many commentators, but it has also often been criticized as flawed or unintelligible. A similar fate has beset Leibniz’s arguments against materialism. In this paper, I explore one of Leibniz’s lesser-known arguments against materialism from his reply to Bayle’s new note L (1702), and argue that it provides us with an instance of a Leibnizian “argument from reflection”. This argument, I further show, does not constitute a flawed appeal to mere introspection, but is in fact securely grounded in an important corollary of the Principle of Sufficient Reason: Leibniz’s Principle of Intelligibility.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
In: From Leibniz to Kant
G.W. Leibniz’s legacy to philosophy is extraordinary for his vast body of work, for his originality and prescience, and for his influence. The aim of this volume is to provide a state-of-the-art exploration of Leibniz’s philosophy and its legacy, especially in the period up to Kant.
The essays collected here offer new insights into signature elements of Leibniz’s thought – the theory of contingency, anti-materialism, the principle of sufficient reason, the metaphysics of substance, and his philosophy of mind – as well as the influence of predecessors such as Lull, Descartes, and Malebranche, the reckoning of his ideas in the works of Wolff and Kant, and the contributions of Clarke, Baumgarten, Meier, Du Châtelet, and others to the content, transmission, and reception of Leibnizian philosophy.