David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:249-78 (2012)
In the early years of the eighteenth century Leibniz had several interactions with John Toland. These included, from 1702 to 1704, discussions of materialism. Those discussions culminated with the consideration of Toland's 1704 Letters to Serena, where Toland argued that matter is necessarily active. In this paper I argue for two main theses about this exchange and its consequences for our wider understanding. The first is that, despite many claims that Toland was at the time of Letters to Serena a Spinozist, we can make better sense of him as a sort of Hobbesian materialist. The second main point concerns reasons for materialism, and in particular a story Locke tells in the Essay about materialists' motives. Toland defends his materialism by arguing that matter is active, and argues that matter is active by using a conceivability argument. But this is not the crude conceivability argument that Locke suggests motivates materialists. This (together with reflecting on some of Hobbes's arguments) suggests that we might well tell a Lockean story about reasons for early modern materialism, but not Locke's story.
|Keywords||Leibniz Toland materialism Hobbes Locke Spinoza|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Marleen Rozemond (2014). Mills Can't Think: Leibniz's Approach to the Mind-Body Problem. Res Philosophica 91 (1):1-28.
Similar books and articles
Nicholas Jolley (1984). Leibniz and Locke: A Study of the New Essays on Human Understanding. Oxford University Press.
Author unknown, English Deism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
R. S. Woolhouse (1998). John Toland and 'Remarques Critiques Sur le Systême de Monsr. Leibnitz de l'Harmonie Préétablie'. The Leibniz Review 8:80-87.
Jan-Erik Jones (2006). Leibniz and Locke and the Debate Over Species. In François Duchesneau & Jérémie Girard (eds.), Leibniz selon les Nouxeaux Essais sur l'entendement Humain. Vrin and Bellarmin.
F. H. Heinemann (1945). Toland and Leibniz. Philosophical Review 54 (5):437-457.
Justin Champion (2003). Republican Learning: John Toland and the Crisis of Christian Culture, 1696-1722. Distributed Exclusively in the Usa by Palgrave.
John W. Yolton (1991). Locke and French Materialism. Oxford University Press.
John Toland (1704/1976). Letters to Serena 1704. Garland Pub..
Stewart Duncan (2012). Leibniz's Mill Arguments Against Materialism. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):250-72.
Stewart Duncan (2010). Leibniz on Hobbes's Materialism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):11-18.
Added to index2009-05-08
Total downloads179 ( #3,385 of 1,098,986 )
Recent downloads (6 months)29 ( #3,647 of 1,098,986 )
How can I increase my downloads?