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  1. Leibniz on Plurality, Dependence, and Unity.Adam Harmer - 2017 - Res Philosophica 95 (1):69-94.
    Leibniz argues that Cartesian extension lacks the unity required to be a substance. A key premise of Leibniz’s argument is that matter is a collection or aggregation. I consider an objection to this premise raised by Leibniz’s correspondent Burchard de Volder and consider a variety of ways that Leibniz might be able to respond to De Volder’s objection. I argue that it is not easy for Leibniz to provide a dialectically relevant response and, further, that the difficulty arises from Leibniz’s (...)
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  • Leibnizian Bodies: Phenomena, Aggregates of Monads, or Both?Stephen Puryear - 2016 - The Leibniz Review 26:99-127.
    I propose a straightforward reconciliation of Leibniz’s conception of bodies as aggregates of simple substances (i.e., monads) with his doctrine that bodies are the phenomena of perceivers, without in the process saddling him with any equivocations. The reconciliation relies on the familiar idea that in Leibniz’s idiolect, an aggregate of Fs is that which immediately presupposes those Fs, or in other words, has those Fs as immediate requisites. But I take this idea in a new direction. Taking notice of the (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Leibniz on Infinite Numbers, Infinite Wholes, and Composite Substances.Adam Harmer - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2):236-259.
    Leibniz claims that nature is actually infinite but rejects infinite number. Are his mathematical commitments out of step with his metaphysical ones? It is widely accepted that Leibniz has a viable response to this problem: there can be infinitely many created substances, but no infinite number of them. But there is a second problem that has not been satisfactorily resolved. It has been suggested that Leibniz’s argument against the world soul relies on his rejection of infinite number, and, as such, (...)
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  • Leibniz on the Nature of Phenomena.Stephen Puryear - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer. Georg Olms. pp. 169-177.
    I argue that Leibniz consistently subscribes to the view that phenomena (thus bodies) have their being in perceiving substances. I then argue that this mentalistic conception of phenomenon coheres with three of his doctrines of body: (1) that bodies presuppose the unities or simple substances on which they are founded; (2) that bodies are aggregates of those substances; and (3) that bodies derive or borrow their reality from their simple constituents.
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