Leibniz and Locke and the Debate over Species

In François Duchesneau & Jérémie Girard (eds.), Leibniz selon les Nouxeaux Essais sur l'entendement Humain. Vrin & Bellarmin (2006)

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Susanna Goodin, in her article “Locke and Leibniz and the Debate over Species” , argues that Leibniz’s criticisms of Locke’s species conventionalism are inadequate as a refutation of Locke’s arguments, and if Leibniz were to buttress his criticisms by appeal to his own metaphysical commitments, he could do so only at the expense of so radically altering the nature of the debate that Locke’s original concerns would not even arise. I argue, however, that Leibniz has an argument within the Nouveaux Essais which provides him with a mechanistically respectable counterproposal to Locke’s conventionalism and which demonstrates the explanatory superiority of natural kind realism.
Keywords Locke  Leibniz  species  realism  Goodin
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