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Profile: Brandon Look (University of Kentucky)
  1. 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.
    That Leibniz finds the philosophy of Spinoza horrifyingly wrong is obvious to anyone who reads Leibniz’s work; that Leibniz finds Spinozism so seductive that his own system is in danger of collapsing into it is less obvious but, I believe, equally true. The difference here is not so much between an exoteric and an esoteric philosophy suggested by Russell2 but between a thorough-going rationalism on the part of Spinoza and Leibniz’s “mitigated rationalism” – mitigated by the exigencies of his orthodox (...)
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  2. Brandon C. Look (2011). Grounding the Principle of Sufficient Reason: Leibnizian Rationalism Versus the Humean Challenge. In Carlos Fraenkel, Dario Perinetti & Justin Smith (eds.), The Rationalists: Between Tradition and Revolution. Springer. 201--219.
    This essay examines arguments offered in support of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) by Leibniz and his followers as well as Hume's critique of the PSR. It is shown that Leibniz has a defensible argument for the PSR, whereas the arguments of his self-proclaimed followers are weak. Thus, Hume's challenge is met by Leibniz, by Wolff and Baumgarten not so much.
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  3. Brandon C. Look (2011). Kant's Thinker. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (4):502-503.
    Kant’s Thinker is an excellent and important addition to the literature. In it, Patricia Kitcher aims at arriving at a comprehensive understanding of Kant’s theory of the cognitive subject. To this end, she analyzes a central component of the most notoriously difficult part of the Critique of Pure Reason, the theory of the unity of apperception in the chapter on the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. In Kitcher’s view, the ultimate payoff of such a study is that Kant’s theory can (...)
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  4. Brandon C. Look (2011). Leibniz, Kant and Frege on the Existence Predicate. In H. Breger, J. Herbst & S. Erdner (eds.), Natur und Subjekt: Akten des IX. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses. Hartmann.
    In this paper, the author examines Leibniz inconsistent treatments of the existence predicate in his formulations of the ontological argument and elsewhere. It is shown that, contrary to expectations, Leibniz at times adumbrates insights often attributed to Kant and Frege.
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  5. Brandon C. Look (2011). Tom Sorell , G. A. J. Rogers , and Jill Kaye , Eds. Scientia in Early Modern Philosophy: Seventeenth-Century Thinkers on Demonstrative Knowledge From First Principles . Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. Pp. Xvi+139. $139.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):367-371.
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  6. Brandon C. Look (2011). Kant's Thinker (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (4):502-503.
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  7. Brandon C. Look (2010). Between Two Worlds: A Reading of Descartes's Meditations (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (1):pp. 104-105.
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  8. Brandon C. Look (2010). Descartes on Causation – Tad Schmaltz. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):418-420.
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  9. Brandon C. Look (2010). Leibniz's Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Idealism, Realism, and the Nature of Substance. Philosophy Compass 5 (11):871-879.
    According to the standard view of his metaphysics, Leibniz endorses idealism: the thesis that the world is made up solely of minds or monads and their perceptual and appetitive states. Recently,this view has been challenged by some scholars, who argue that Leibniz can be seen as admitting corporeal substances, that is, animals or embodied souls, into his ontology, and that, therefore, it is false to attribute a strict idealism to him. Subtler accounts suggest that Leibniz begins his philosophical career as (...)
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  10. Brandon C. Look (2009). Leibniz and Locke on Natural Kinds. In Vlad Alexandrescu (ed.), Branching Off: The Early Moderns in Quest for the Unity of Knowledge. Zeta Books.
    One of the more interesting topics debated by Leibniz and Locke and one that has received comparatively little critical commentary is the nature of essences and the classification of the natural world.1 This topic, moreover, is of tremendous importance, occupying a position at the intersection of the metaphysics of individual beings, modality, epistemology, and philosophy of language. And, while it goes back to Plato, who wondered if we could cut nature at its joints, as Nicholas Jolley has pointed out, the (...)
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  11. Brandon C. Look, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) was one of the great thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is known as the last “universal genius”. He made deep and important contributions to the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, as well as mathematics, physics, geology, jurisprudence, and history. Even the eighteenth century French atheist and materialist Denis Diderot, whose views could not have stood in greater opposition to those of Leibniz, could not help being awed by his achievement, writing (...)
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  12. Brandon C. Look, Leibniz's Modal Metaphysics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In the main article on Leibniz, it was claimed that Leibniz's philosophy can be seen as a reaction to the Cartesian theory of corporeal substance and the necessitarianism of Spinoza and Hobbes. This entry will address this second aspect of his philosophy. In the course of his writings, Leibniz developed an approach to questions of modality—necessity, possibility, contingency—that not only served an important function within his general metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical theology but also has continuing interest today. Indeed, it has..
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  13. Brandon C. Look (2007). Towards Non-Being: The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality - By Graham Priest. Philosophical Books 48 (1):83-84.
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  14. Brandon C. Look (2007). Perfection, Power and the Passions in Spinoza and Leibniz. Revue Roumaine de la Philosophie 51 (1-2):21-38.
    In a short piece written most likely in the 1690s and given the title by Loemker of “On Wisdom,” Leibniz says the following: “...we see that happiness, pleasure, love, perfection, being, power, freedom, harmony, order, and beauty are all tied to each other, a truth which is rightly perceived by few.”1 Why is this? That is, why or how are these concepts tied to each other? And, why have so few understood this relation? Historians of philosophy are familiar with the (...)
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  15. Brandon C. Look (2007). The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science. Review of Metaphysics 60 (3):666-668.
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  16. Brandon C. Look (2006). Blumenbach and Kant on Mechanism and Teleology in Nature: The Case of the Formative Drive. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
  17. Brandon C. Look (2006). Leibniz. The Leibniz Review 16:119-121.
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  18. Brandon C. Look (2006). Leibniz: Metaphilosophy and Metaphysics, 1666-1686. [REVIEW] The Leibniz Review 15:119-121.
     
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  19. Brandon C. Look (2006). Some Remarks on the Ontological Arguments of Leibniz and Gödel. In Herbert Breger (ed.), Einheit in der Vielheit: Akten des VIII. Leibniz Kongresses. Hartmann.
    Beschäftigung mit der Philosophie, selbst wenn keine positiven Ergebnisse herauskommen (sondern ich ratlos bleibe), ist auf jeden Fall wohltätig. Es hat die Wirkung (dass „die Farbe heller“), d.h., dass die Realität deutlicher als solche erscheint. – Kurt Gödel..
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  20. Brandon C. Look (2005). Kant on Representation and Objectivity. Review of Metaphysics 59 (2):415-416.
  21. Brandon C. Look (2005). Leibniz and the Shelf of Essence. The Leibniz Review 15:27-47.
    This paper addresses D. C. Williams’s question, “How can Leibniz know that he is a member of the actual world and not merely a possible monad on the shelf of essence?” A variety of answers are considered. Ultimately, it is argued that no particular perception of a state of affairs in the world can warrant knowledge of one’s actuality, nor can the awareness of any property within oneself; rather, it is the nature of experience itself, with the flow of perceptions, (...)
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