Mind and Body

Oxford Handbook of Leibniz (2015)

Authors
Adam Harmer
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
This chapter discusses Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophical reflections on mind and body. It first considers Leibniz’s distinction between substance and aggregate, referring to the former as a being that must have true unity (what he calls unum per se) and to the latter as simply a collection of other beings. It then describes Leibniz’s extension of the term “substance” to monads and other things such as animals and living beings. It also examines Leibniz’s views about the union of mind and body, whether mind and body interact, and how interaction is related to union. More specifically, it asks whether mind and body together constitute an unum per se and analyzes Leibniz’s account of the per se unity of mind-body composites. In addition, the chapter explores the problem of soul-body union as opposed to mind-body union and concludes by discussing Leibniz’s explanation of soul-body interaction using a system of pre-established harmony.
Keywords Leibniz  Mind  Body
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