The Leibniz Review 23:73-98 (2013)

Authors
Larry M. Jorgensen
Skidmore College
Abstract
This paper traces Leibniz’s use of his neologism, “transcreation.” Leibniz coins the term in his 1676 discussions of motion, using it to identify a certain type of leap that is essential to motion. But Leibniz quickly dispensed with this theory of motion, arguing instead that “nature never acts by leaps,” and the term “transcreation” fell out of use. However, Leibniz surprisingly revived the term in 1709 in his discussion of the generation of rational beings. By contrasting the way Leibniz uses the term in his theory of motion with his use of the term in the generation of rational beings, we will see that Leibniz’s arguments against leaps early in his career are less forceful against the leaps purportedly involved in the generation of minds. Nevertheless, the “transcreation” of minds does not necessary entail a discontinuity in the “chain of being.”
Keywords Leibniz
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ISBN(s) 1524-1556
DOI 10.5840/leibniz2013235
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