Leibniz on body, matter and extension

This paper explores Leibniz's conception of body and extension in the 1680s and 1690s. It is argued that one of Leibniz's central aims is to undermine the Cartesian conception of extended substance, and replace it with a conception on which what is basic to body is force. In this way, Leibniz intends to reduce extension to something metaphysically more basic in just the way that the mechanists reduce sensible qualities to size, shape and motion. It is also argued that this move is quite distinct from the reduction of body to monads and their appetitions and perceptions, so prominent in his later writings
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