Leibniz on determinateness and possible worlds

Philosophy Compass 13 (1) (2018)
Authors
Adam Harmer
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
Leibniz argues that God doesn't create everything possible because not all possible things are compossible, that is, compatible with each other. Much recent debate has focused on Leibniz's conception of compossibility. One important aspect of this debate, which has not been examined directly, is the distinction between possible worlds and possible creations: the notion of possible world is more robust than simply whatever God can create. Many commentators have relied on this distinction without a clear formulation of it. I develop the distinction between possible worlds and possible creations by looking at how Leibniz characterizes what God is capable of creating. I argue that possible creations must be both logically consistent and determinate. Possible creations differ from possible worlds insofar as possible creations fail to be either maximal or harmonious. I conclude, therefore, that focusing on the notion of determinateness offers a new approach to answering the question why doesn't God create everything possible?
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12469
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References found in this work BETA

Leibniz's World-Apart Doctrine.Adam Harmer - 2016 - In Yual Chiek & Gregory Brown (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds. Springer. pp. 37-63.
Leibniz and Arnauld: A Commentary on Their Correspondence.R. C. Sleigh - 1990 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):851-853.
Leibniz on Compossibility.James Messina & Donald Rutherford - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):962-977.

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