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Leibniz: Metaphysics
  1. The Discreteness of Matter: Leibniz on Plurality and Part-Whole Priority.Adam Harmer - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Leibniz argues against Descartes’s conception of material substance based on considerations of unity. I examine a key premise of Leibniz’s argument, what I call the Plurality Thesis—the claim that matter (i.e. extension alone) is a plurality of parts. More specifically, I engage an objection to the Plurality Thesis stemming from what I call Material Monism—the claim that the physical world is a single material substance. I argue that Leibniz can productively engage this objection based on his view that matter is (...)
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  2. Leibniz’s Early Theodicy and its Unwelcome Implications.Thomas Feeney - 2020 - The Leibniz Review 30:1-28.
    To explain why God is not the author of sin, despite grounding all features of the world, the early Leibniz marginalized the divine will and defined existence as harmony. These moves support each other. It is easier to nearly eliminate the divine will from creation if existence itself is something wholly intelligible, and easier to identify existence with an internal feature of the possibles if the divine will is not responsible for creation. Both moves, however, commit Leibniz to a necessitarianism (...)
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  3. Leibniz on Animal Generation.Osvaldo Ottoviani & Alessandro Becchi - 2020 - The Leibniz Review 30:63-106.
  4. From Theism to Idealism to Monism: A Leibnizian Road Not Taken.Samuel Newlands - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1143-1162.
    This paper explores a PSR-connected trail leading from theistic idealism to a form of substance monism. In particular, I argue that the same style of argument available for a Leibnizian form of metaphysical idealism actually leads beyond idealism to something closer to Spinozistic monism. This path begins with a set of theological commitments about the nature and perfection of God that were widely shared among leading early modern philosophers. From these commitments, there arises an interesting case for metaphysical idealism, roughly (...)
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  5. Kant and Russell on Leibniz' Existential Assertions.Alessandro Rossi - forthcoming - Sophia:1-21.
    Leibniz believed in a God that has the power to create beings and whose existence could be a priori demonstrated. Kant (KrV, A 592-602/B 620-630) rejected such demonstrations as they all presuppose the false claim that existence is a real property. Moreover, (Russell 1992) added that if existence were a real property Leibniz should have concluded that God does not actually have the power to create anything at all. First, I show that Leibniz’ conception of existence is incompatible with the (...)
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  6. Force, Motion, and Leibniz’s Argument From Successiveness.Peter Myrdal - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    This essay proposes a new interpretation of a central, and yet overlooked, argument Leibniz offers against Descartes’s power-free ontology of the corporeal world. Appealing to considerations about the successiveness of motion, Leibniz attempts to show that the reality of motion requires force. It is often assumed that the argument is driven by concerns inspired by Zeno. Against such a reading, this essay contends that Leibniz’s argument is instead best understood against the background of an Aristotelian view of the priority of (...)
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  7. Dissertation on Combinatorial Art.G. W. Leibniz - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  8. Leibniz and the Structure of Sciences: Modern Perspectives on the History of Logic, Mathematics, Epistemology.Vincenzo De Risi (ed.) - 2019 - Springer.
  9. Nikolai Lossky’s Evolutionary Metaphysics of Reincarnation.Frédéric Tremblay - 2020 - Sophia 59 (4):733-753.
    The Russian philosopher Nikolai Onufrievich Lossky adhered to an evolutionary metaphysics of reincarnation according to which the world is constituted of immortal souls or monads, which he calls ‘substantival agents.’ These substantival agents can evolve or devolve depending on the goodness or badness of their behavior. Such evolution requires the possibility for monads to reincarnate into the bodies of creatures of a higher or of a lower level on the scala perfectionis. According to this theory, a substantival agent can evolve (...)
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  10. 18th Century German Philosophy Prior to Kant.Corey W. Dyck & Brigitte Sassen - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  11. El misterio del mal.Agustina Borella - 2004 - Revista Studium 14.
    El propósito de este trabajo consiste en penetrar el misterio por el cual Dios, máximamente Bueno y Sabio permite el mal en el mundo. A fin de poder alcanzar este objetivo se intentará profundizar las nociones de misterio, mal y Providencia. Se considerará la ubicación del tema dentro del campo de la metafísica teniendo en cuenta que se trata de un tema límite dentro de la filosofía. Asimismo se mostrarán aquellas premisas, que supone la cuestión aquí analizada, que son: el (...)
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  12. The "Monadology".Lloyd Strickland - 2020 - In Paul Lodge & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Leibniz's Key Philosophical Writings: A Guide. Oxford, UK: pp. 206-227.
    Written in 1714, the “Monadology” is widely regarded as a classic statement of much of Leibniz’s mature philosophical system. In just 90 numbered paragraphs, Leibniz outlines—and argues for—the core features of his system, starting with his famous doctrine of monads (simple substances) and ending with the uplifting claim that God is concerned not only for the world as a whole but for the welfare of the virtuous in particular. This chapter begins by considering the circumstances of composition of the “Monadology” (...)
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  13. Discourse on Metaphysics.Lloyd Strickland - 2020 - In Paul Lodge & Lloyd Strickland (eds.), Leibniz's Key Philosophical Writings: A Guide. Oxford, UK: pp. 56-79.
    The “Discourse on Metaphysics” is widely considered to be Leibniz’s most important philosophical work from his so-called “middle period”. Written early in 1686, when Leibniz was 39 years old, it consolidates a number of philosophical ideas that he had developed and sketched out in the years beforehand in a host of short private essays, fragments, and letters. This chapter guides the reader through the key themes of the “Discourse”, such as God’s choice of the best, the nature of substance, final (...)
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  14. Continuity, Containment, and Coincidence: Leibniz in the History of the Exact Sciences: Vincenzo De Risi (Ed.): Leibniz and the Structure of Sciences: Modern Perspectives on the History of Logic, Mathematics, and Epistemology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2019, 298pp, 103.99€ HB.Christopher P. Noble - 2020 - Metascience 29 (3):523-526.
  15. Somethings and Nothings: Śrīgupta and Leibniz on Being and Unity.Allison Aitken & Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2020 - Philosophy East and West (4).
    Śrīgupta, a Buddhist philosopher in the Middle Way tradition, was born in Bengal in present-day India in the seventh century. He is best known for his Introduction to Reality with its accompanying auto-commentary,1 in which he presents the first Middle Way iteration of the influential "neither-one-nor-many argument."2 This antifoundationalist line of reasoning sets out to prove that nothing enjoys ontologically independent being.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born some one thousand years later, in the city of Leipzig, situated on the outskirts of (...)
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  16. The Role of Plurality in Leibniz’s Argument From Unity.Adam Harmer - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (3):437-457.
    I argue that Leibniz’s well-known Argument from Unity is equally an argument from plurality. I detail two main claims about plurality that drive the argument, and I provide evidence that they structure Leibniz’s argument from the late 1670s onwards. First, there is what I call Mereological Nihilism (i.e., the claim that a plurality cannot be made into a true unity by any available means). Second, there is what I call the Plurality Thesis (i.e., the claim that matter is a plurality (...)
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  17. On Some Leibnizian Arguments for the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Stephen Harrop - forthcoming - History of Philosophy Quarterly.
    Leibniz often refers to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) as something like a first principle. In some texts, however, he attempts to give positive arguments in its favor. I examine two such arguments, and find them wanting. The first argument has two defects. First, it is question-begging; and second, when the question-begging step is excised, the principle one can in fact derive is highly counter-intuitive. The second argument is valid, but has the defect of only reaching a nearly trivial (...)
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  18. Leibniz on the Problem of Evil, by P. Rateau.Kristen Irwin - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:161-165.
  19. (English Translation of) “Contexte Génétique Et Première Réception de la Monadologie. Leibniz, Wolff Et la Doctrine de L’Harmonie Préétablie,”.Antonio Lamarra, Catherine Fullarton & Ursula Goldenbaum - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:185-199.
    The many equivocations that, in several respects, characterised the reception of Leibniz's Principes de la Nature et de la Grâce and Monadologie, up until the last century, find their origins in the genetic circumstances of their manuscripts, which gave rise to misinformation published in an anonymous review that appeared in the Leipzig Acta eruditorum in 1721. Archival research demonstrates that the author of this review, as well as of the Latin review of the Monadologie, which appeared, the same year, in (...)
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  20. Organisme et corps organique de Leibniz à Kant, by F. Duchesneau.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:107-119.
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  21. A Reply to M. F. Camposampiero.François Duchesneau - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:121-128.
  22. Response to C. Noble.Ohad Nachtomy - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:157-159.
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  23. Living Mirrors: Infinity, Unity, and Life in Leibniz's Philosophy, by O. Nachtomy.Christopher P. Noble - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:141-155.
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  24. Comments on “Leibniz on Internal Action and Why Mills Can't Think”.Paul Rateau - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:41-48.
  25. Leibniz on Internal Action and Why Mills Can't Think.Marleen Rozemond - 2019 - The Leibniz Review 29:13-40.
  26. Principle of Sufficient Reason.Fatema Amijee - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 63-75.
    According to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (henceforth ‘PSR’), everything has an explanation or sufficient reason. This paper addresses three questions. First, how continuous is the contemporary notion of grounding with the notion of sufficient reason endorsed by Spinoza, Leibniz, and other rationalists? In particular, does a PSR formulated in terms of ground retain the intuitive pull and power of the PSR endorsed by the rationalists? Second, to what extent can the PSR avoid the formidable traditional objections levelled against it (...)
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  27. Samuel Clarke.Timothy Yenter - 2020 - In Dana Jalobeanu & Charles T. Wolfe (eds.), Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences.
    Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) profoundly shaped early eighteenth-century European philosophy with an a priori demonstration of the existence of God and influential defenses of substance dualism and human freedom. Throughout his works, he defended absolute space, the passivity of matter, and constant divine activity in the world, which jointly provided a metaphysical basis for the quickly popularizing Newtonian thought.
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  28. The Labyrinth of the Continuum.Massimo Mugnai - 2003 - The Leibniz Review 13:155-165.
  29. Création continuelle, concours divin et théodicée dans le débat Bayle-Jaquelot-Leibniz.Jean-Luc Solere - 2015 - In Chr. Leduc, P. Rateau and J.-L. Solère, eds., Leibniz et Bayle: Confrontation et Dialogue. Hanover, Germany: pp. 395-424.
  30. Monads, Composition, and Force: Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz’s Labyrinth, by Richard Arthur. [REVIEW]Julia Jorati - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):664-673.
    Monads, Composition, and Force: Ariadnean Threads through Leibniz’s Labyrinth, by ArthurRichard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. ix + 329.
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  31. The Logic of Leibniz’s Borrowed Reality Argument.Stephen Puryear - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279):350-370.
    Leibniz argues that there must be a fundamental level of simple substances because composites borrow their reality from their constituents and not all reality can be borrowed. I contend that the underlying logic of this ‘borrowed reality argument’ has been misunderstood, particularly the rationale for the key premise that not all reality can be borrowed. Contrary to what has been suggested, the rationale turns neither on the alleged viciousness of an unending regress of reality borrowers nor on the Principle of (...)
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  32. Newton and Leibniz.Julia Jorati - 2020 - Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences.
    It is easy to get the impression that Newton and Leibniz do not see eye to eye on anything. Yet, as is so often the case, a closer look reveals that matters are much more complicated. Despite their disagreements, the two are frequently on the same side of central scientific and philosophical debates. This entry discusses some of the main agreements and disagreements between Newton and Leibniz, starting with their methodologies and then turning to their views on space, motion, and (...)
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  33. Leibniz on Spontaneity, The Eduction of Substantial Forms, and Creaturely Interaction: A Tension.Davis Kuykendall - 2019 - Studia Neoaristotelica 16 (2):229-274.
    Leibniz argued that (i) substantial forms only begin to exist via Divine creation; (ii) created substances cannot transeuntly cause accidents in distinct substances; and yet (iii) created substances immanently produce their accidents. Some of Leibniz’s support for (i) came from his endorsement of a widely-made argument against the eduction of substantial forms. However, in defense of eduction, Suárez argued that if creatures cannot produce substantial forms, they also cannot produce accidents, threatening the consistency of (i) and (iii). In this paper, (...)
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  34. Leibniz’s Lost Argument Against Causal Interaction.Tobias Flattery - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (12).
    Leibniz accepts causal independence, the claim that no created substance can causally interact with any other. And Leibniz needs causal independence to be true, since his well-known pre-established harmony is premised upon it. So, what is Leibniz’s argument for causal independence? Sometimes he claims that causal interaction between substances is superfluous. Sometimes he claims that it would require the transfer of accidents, and that this is impossible. But when Leibniz finds himself under sustained pressure to defend causal independence, those are (...)
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  35. "Si Omnia Possibilia Existerent..." Why Leibniz Denies That All Possibles Can Exist.Sebastian Bender - 2016 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (3):215-236.
    Leibniz denies Spinoza’s claim that all possible things actually exist. He also denies necessitarianism, Spinoza’s claim that all truths are necessary truths. Both denials seem plausible. What is surprising, however, is Leibniz’s view that the first claim entails the second, i.e., that the existence of all possible things implies necessitarianism. Why think this? Couldn’t it be that, as a matter of contingent fact, all possible things actually exist? There seems to be no incoherency in claiming both that all possible things (...)
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  36. Leibniz’ Metaphysik der Modalität. [REVIEW]Jan Levin Propach - 2018 - Theologie Und Philosophie 93:269-272.
  37. Monads, Composition, and Force. Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz's Labyrinth by Richard T. W. Arthur. [REVIEW]Stephen Puryear - 2019 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (4):761-762.
    Leibniz describes the problem of the composition of the continuum as one of the two famous labyrinths of the human mind. The problem is in brief that matter and motion appear to be continuous and thus would seem to be composed of an infinity of spatial or temporal points, which is absurd. Leibniz's strategy for escaping from this labyrinth involves distinguishing the realm of the real or actual from that of the ideal. In the former there is composition from parts (...)
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  38. Leibniz on the Divine Preformation of Souls and Bodies.Christopher P. Noble - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (2):327-342.
  39. Machines of Nature and Machines of Art: Christian Wolff's Reception of Leibniz.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2019 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 3:431-452.
  40. Leibniz's Legacy and Impact.Julia Weckend & Lloyd Strickland (eds.) - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    This volume tells the story of the legacy and impact of the great German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). Leibniz made significant contributions to many areas, including philosophy, mathematics, political and social theory, theology, and various sciences. The essays in this volume explores the effects of Leibniz’s profound insights on subsequent generations of thinkers by tracing the ways in which his ideas have been defended and developed in the three centuries since his death. Each of the 11 essays is concerned (...)
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  41. Leibniz on Primitive Concepts and Conceiving Reality.Peter Myrdal & Arto Repo - 2016 - In Hemmo Laiho & Arto Repo (eds.), DE NATURA RERUM - Scripta in honorem professoris Olli Koistinen sexagesimum annum complentis. Turku: University of Turku. pp. 148-166.
    In this paper, we consider what is commonly referred to as Leibniz’s argument for primitive concepts. After presenting and criticizing (in sections 1 and 2) one recent rather straightforward way of interpreting this argument, by Paul Lodge and Stephen Puryear, which takes the argument to be merely about the structure of concepts, we offer an alternative way of looking at the argument. We think it is best seen as being fundamentally about the relation between thought and reality. In order to (...)
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  42. Leibniz’s Formal Theory of Contingency.Jeffrey McDonough & Zeynep Soysal - 2018 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 21 (1):17-43.
    This essay argues that, with his much-maligned “infinite analysis” theory of contingency, Leibniz is onto something deep and important – a tangle of issues that wouldn’t be sorted out properly for centuries to come, and then only by some of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. The first two sections place Leibniz’s theory in its proper historical context and draw a distinction between Leibniz’s logical and meta-logical discoveries. The third section argues that Leibniz’s logical insights initially make his “infinite (...)
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  43. El tiempo y su analogía con la noción de espacio en la filosofía de G. W. Leibniz.Leandro Ruiz-Gómez - 2017 - Pensamiento 73 (276):463-482.
    Leibniz, como muchos de sus contemporáneos, establece algunas conexiones conceptuales entre la noción de espacio y la noción de tiempo. Al ser el concepto de tiempo mucho menos explorado por Leibniz que el concepto del espacio, esta analogía nos puede abrir algunos caminos de interpretación valiosos. Sin embargo, es importante hacer un análisis detallado sobre los límites de la analogía y las notas características que se pueden extrapolar entre estos dos términos, pues no existe entre ellos un paralelismo estricto. El (...)
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  44. De mónadas y sustantividades o Leibniz y Zubiri.Diego Gracia - 2015 - Pensamiento 71 (266):369-387.
    Los autores resultan tanto más difíciles de entender cuanto más originales son sus planteamientos. El contexto de lectura de las obras de un innovador no puede ser otro que el previo a la innovación, aquel en que se acuñaron los términos que por necesidad él tendrá que utilizar, bien que dotándoles de nuevo sentido. Lo normal es que este nuevo sentido pase inadvertido para el lector, que tenderá a interpretar esos términos en su sentido tradicional. Esto es por demás evidente (...)
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  45. Creación, nada y participación en Leibniz.Agustín Echevarría - 2013 - Pensamiento 69 (261):897-918.
    El presente artículo analiza el concepto leibniziano de «creación de la nada» desde una doble perspectiva. Por un lado, se expone el modelo esencialista de la creación, entendida como traslado de esencias desde el plano de la mera posibilidad al plano de la existencia, y las dificultades que este planteamiento supone, al devaluar la causalidad divina. Por otro, se expone el modelo «participacionista», según el cual toda la perfección de la criatura se encuentra en actual y radical dependencia de las (...)
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  46. Leibniz y el método de la metafísica: El debate con de volder acerca de la definición de sustancia.Rodolfo E. Fazio - 2016 - Dissertatio 43 (S3):298-329.
    En nuestro trabajo estudiamos el debate entre Leibniz y De Volder acerca de la naturaleza de la sustancia. En particular, argumentamos que a pesar de no encontrarse en la correspondencia un argumento a priori a favor de la definición de sustancia como fuerza primitiva activa, Leibniz presenta una justificación de la misma en otros términos. En primer lugar, analizamos la prueba a priori a favor de las fuerzas vivas y criticamos su validez para la metafísica. En segundo lugar, examinamos la (...)
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  47. Leibniz E Os Animais.Ulysses Pinheiro - 2016 - Dissertatio 43 (S3):172-204.
    A continuidade e a ruptura entre homens e animais apontam para um impasse interno da filosofia de Leibniz. Por um lado, ele deve poder dar conta da emergência do que é propriamente humano a partir da animalidade obedecendo ao Princípio de Continuidade ; por outro lado, a racionalidade introduz uma diferença qualitativa que não parece poder ser redutível a uma mera distinção de graus. Sem procurar eliminar essa tensão conceitual, o artigo trata de entender suas consequências para o projeto filosófico (...)
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  48. Leibniz, Molyneux E as Causas Finais: Uma Ocasião de Disputa Perdida.Emanuele Tredanaro - 2016 - Dissertatio 43 (S3):263-297.
    Neste trabalho, nos propomos percorrer algumas etapas do debate sobre a relevância das causas finais nas investigações físicas, que levou Leibniz a confrontar sua filosofia, de modo particular, com o cartesianismo e, mais em geral, com uma concepção estritamente mecanicista da natureza. Serão seguidos aqueles indícios que se encontram na obra de Leibniz, ao procurar pelas referências a Molyneux, um dos primeiros a receber e divulgar a perspectiva leibniziana, e, além disso, um dos poucos interlocutores com os quais se instaurou (...)
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  49. G. W. Leibniz y el surgimiento de la perspectiva.Laura E. Herrera Castillo - 2016 - Dissertatio 43 (S3):109-149.
    La técnica artística de la perspectiva es el lugar del nacimiento de una idea cuyo potencial trascendió la esfera del arte: el punto de vista. En efecto, la idea de la construcción del plano visual a partir de un punto de vista determinado ocasiona la transformación del estatuto del objeto en el plano representativo, donde pasa de tener el carácter de la presencia o presentación, al de la construcción o re-presentación. No en vano la época cultural donde se produce el (...)
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  50. El perspectivismo en los nuevos ensayos sobre el entendimiento humano de Leibniz.Manuel Sánchez Rodríguez - 2016 - Dissertatio 43 (S3):86-108.
    En este artículo se analiza la concepción perspectivista del conocimiento, tal como es expuesta por Leibniz en los Nuevos Ensayos, como uno de los aspectos que marca la originalidad de este pensador en la Ilustración racionalista. Se defenderá que esta concepción se sustenta en dos tesis. En primer lugar, Leibniz sostiene que todo conocimiento humano es esencialmente perspectivista, pero esto no impide sostener, contra el escepticismo, que en cada caso las diferentes perspectivas ofrecen un conocimiento diverso de un mismo mundo. (...)
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