Incomplete Entities, Natural Non-separability, and Leibniz's Response to François Lamy's De la Conoissance de soi-même
The Leibniz Review 13:1-17 (2003)
Robert M. Adams claims that Leibniz’s rehahilitation of the doctrine of incomplete entities is the most sustained etlort to integrate a theory of corporeal substances into the theory of simple substances. I discuss alternative interpretations of the theory of incomplete entities suggested by Marleen Rozemond and Pauline Phemister. Against Rozemond, I argue that the scholastic doctrine of incomplete entities is not dependent on a hylomorphic analysis of corporeal substances, and therefore can be adapted by Leibniz. Against Phemister, I claim that Leibniz did not reduce the passivity of corporeal substances to modifications of passive aspects of simple substances. Against Adams, I argue that Leibniz’s theory of the incompleteness of the mind cannot be understood adequately without understanding the reasons for his assertion that matter is incomplete without minds. Composite substances are seen as requisites for the reality of the material world, and therefore cannot be eliminated from Leibniz’s metaphysics
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