David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (3):329-341 (2003)
: On its face, Leibniz's argument for primitive concepts seems to imply that unless we can analyze non-primitive concepts into their primitive constituents, we cannot grasp them. This implication, together with Leibniz's belief that we do conceive of some non-primitive concepts, entails that we can analyze some non-primitive concepts into their primitive components. However, Leibniz claims elsewhere that we are incapable of doing this. To resolve this inconsistency, I argue that, for Leibniz, grasping a concept is not an all-or-nothing affair; instead we possess concepts in degrees. When reinterpreted in line with this, Leibniz's argument can avoid the inconsistency
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