David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (1):58-84 (2011)
In this article, I discuss Leibniz's interpretation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. In particular, I consider whether Leibniz's position on this point was developed partly in reference to Spinoza's position. First, I analyze Leibniz's annotations from 1676 on Spinoza's Letter 12. The traditional cosmological argument, as found in Avicenna and Saint Thomas for example, relies on the Aristotelian assumption that an actual infinite is impossible and on the idea that there can be no effect without a cause. From these premises, the argument concludes that God must be the uncaused first cause of all things. In Letter 12, Spinoza follows Chasdai Crescas and rejects this proof. Instead, he develops a variant of the cosmological argument which depicts God as the self-caused ground of all causes or things. In his annotations, Leibniz agrees with Spinoza about the inadequacy of the traditional argument, but remains ambiguous as to Spinoza's conception of God as a self-caused being. Next, I turn to Leibniz's comments from 1678 on Spinoza's Ethics . Here, Leibniz develops an original interpretation of the cosmological argument based entirely on the consideration of conceptual relations. Leibniz's argument depicts God as an uncaused being conceived through itself which is the condition of conceivability of all things. I argue that Leibniz developed this argument in deliberate opposition to Spinoza's conception of God as the self-caused ground of all causes or things
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mogens Laerke (2011). Leibniz's Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God. Archiv Fuer Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (1):58 - 84.
David Werther (1996). Leibniz and the Possibility of God's Existence. Religious Studies 32 (1):37 - 48.
Michael V. Griffin (2012). Leibniz, God and Necessity. Cambridge University Press.
Mogens Laerke (2011). Spinoza's Cosmological Argument in the 'Ethics'. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (4):439 - 462.
Brandon C. Look (forthcoming). Existence, Essence, Et Expression: Leibniz Sur 'Toutes les Absurdités du Dieu de Spinoza'. In Pierre-Francois Moreau & Mogens Laerke (eds.), Spinoza et Leibniz.
Stewart Duncan (2012). Leibniz's Mill Arguments Against Materialism. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):250-72.
Robert C. Koons (1997). A New Look at the Cosmological Argument. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):193 - 211.
Timothy Joe McKenzie, The God of the Cosmological Argument and the God of Religion: Can the Two Be Reconciled?
Martin Lin (2007). Spinoza's Arguments for the Existence of God. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):269-297.
Marcy P. Lascano (2011). Emilie du Châtelet on the Existence and Nature of God: An Examination of Her Arguments in Light of Their Sources. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):741 - 758.
Ismail Latif Hacinebioglu (2008). Does God Exist? Logical Foundations of the Cosmological Argument. Insan Publ.
Mogens Lærke (2007). Quod Non Omnia Possibilia Ad Existentiam Perveniant. The Leibniz Review 17:1-30.
Mark A. Kulstad (2008). Newton, Spinoza, Stoics and Others. The Leibniz Review 18:81-121.
Ohad Nachtomy (2011). A Tale of Two Thinkers, One Meeting, and Three Degrees of Infinity: Leibniz and Spinoza (1675–8). British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5):935-961.
Nicholas Okrent (2000). Leibniz on Substance and God in “That a Most Perfect Being Is Possible”. Philosophy and Theology 12 (1):79-93.
Added to index2011-03-15
Total downloads162 ( #3,319 of 1,089,047 )
Recent downloads (6 months)48 ( #1,016 of 1,089,047 )
How can I increase my downloads?