Leibniz and the Imitation of God

Philosophy and Theology 23 (1):3-27 (2011)
The primary goal of this essay is to demonstrate that Leibniz’s objections to theological voluntarism are tightly connected to his overarching metaphysical system; a secondary goal is to show that his objections are not without some merit. Leibniz, it is argued, holds to strong versions of the imago dei doctrine, i.e., creatures are made in the image of God, and imitatio dei doctrine, i.e., creatures ought to imitate God. Consequently, God and creatures must possess similar structures of moral psychology, and must be motivated in similar ways. Yet, Leibniz argues, a thoroughgoing voluntarism would obstruct both doctrines in philosophically unsettling ways, impeding the possibility for creatures to genuinely imitate God
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