David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5):935-961 (2011)
The article presents Leibniz's preoccupation (in 1675?6) with the difference between the notion of infinite number, which he regards as impossible, and that of the infinite being, which he regards as possible. I call this issue ?Leibniz's Problem? and examine Spinoza's solution to a similar problem that arises in the context of his philosophy. ?Spinoza's solution? is expounded in his letter on the infinite (Ep.12), which Leibniz read and annotated in April 1676. The gist of Spinoza's solution is to distinguish between three kinds of infinity and, in particular, between one that applies to substance, and one that applies to numbers, seen as auxiliaries of the imagination. The rest of the paper examines the extent to which Spinoza's solution solves Leibniz's problem. The main thesis I advance is that, when Spinoza and Leibniz say that the divine substance is infinite, in most contexts it is to be understood in non-numerical and non-quantitative terms. Instead, for Spinoza and Leibniz, a substance is said to be infinite in a qualitative sense stressing that it is complete, perfect and indivisible. I argue that this approach solves one strand of Leibniz's problem and leaves another unsolved
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Richard Arthur (2001). Leibniz on Infinite Number, Infinite Wholes, and the Whole World. The Leibniz Review 11:103-116.
O. Bradley Bassler (1998). Leibniz on the Indefinite as Infinite. Review of Metaphysics 51 (4):849 - 874.
Gregory Brown (2005). Leibniz's Mathematical Argument Against a Soul of the World. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):449 – 488.
Gregory Brown (2000). Leibniz on Wholes, Unities, and Infinite Number. The Leibniz Review 10:21-51.
Hidé Ishiguro (1990). Leibniz's Philosophy of Logic and Language. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ohad Nachtomy (2005). Leibniz on the Greatest Number and the Greatest Being. The Leibniz Review 15:49-66.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1976). Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays. University of Notre Dame Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1972). Leibniz. Garden City, N.Y.,Anchor Books.
Mogens Laerke (2011). Leibniz's Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God. Archiv Fuer Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (1):58 - 84.
Ursula Goldenbaum (2007). Why Shouldn't Leibniz Have Studied Spinoza? The Leibniz Review 17:107-138.
Mogens Lærke (2011). Leibniz's Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (1):58-84.
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.
Yitzhak Melamed (2014). “Spinoza, Tschirnhaus Et Leibniz: Qu’Est Un Monde?“. In Raphaële Andrault Pierre-François Moreau (ed.), Spinoza/Leibniz. Rencontres, controverses, réceptions. Presses universitaires de Paris. 85-95.
Ian Leask (2012). Unholy Force: Toland's Leibnizian 'Consummation' of Spinozism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (3):499-537.
Nicholas Okrent (2000). Leibniz on Substance and God in “That a Most Perfect Being Is Possible”. Philosophy and Theology 12 (1):79-93.
Yitzhak Y. Melamed (2011). Why Spinoza is Not an Eleatic Monist (Or Why Diversity Exists). In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave.
Ursula Goldenbaum (unknown). Why Shouldn't Leibniz Have Studied Spinoza?: The Rise of the Claim of Continuity in Leibniz' Philosophy Out of the Ideological Rejection of Spinoza's Impact on Leibniz. :107-138.
Simon B. Duffy (2006). The Differential Point of View of the Infinitesimal Calculus in Spinoza, Leibniz and Deleuze. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 37 (3):286-307.
P. -F. Moreau (1988). Les Enjeux de la Publication En France des Papiers de Leibniz Sur Spinoza. Revue de Métaphysique Et de Morale 93 (2):215 - 222.
Marx W. Wartofsky (1977). Nature, Number and Individuals: Motive and Method in Spinoza's Philosophy. Inquiry 20 (1-4):457 – 479.
Added to index2011-09-01
Total downloads38 ( #43,235 of 1,096,831 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #164,128 of 1,096,831 )
How can I increase my downloads?