Leibniz on Cartesian Omnipotence and Contingency

Religious Studies 31 (1):23 - 36 (1995)
Leibniz contrasted his views of necessity, possibility, and impossibility with those of Descartes and Spinoza. On the one hand, he argued that Descartes erred by allowing that God has the ability to make contradictory claims true. On the other hand, Leibniz found Spinoza's commitment to fatalism to be counterintuitive. I show that, given his in-esse account of truth, Leibniz could not have avoided a commitment to fatalism, without affirming one of the most objectionable features of Descartes' divine voluntarism, the contingency of the law of noncontradiction.
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