Monadic Teleology without Goodness and without God

The Leibniz Review 23:43-72 (2013)
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Most interpreters think that for Leibniz, teleology is goodness-directedness. Explaining a monadic action teleologically, according to them, simply means explaining it in terms of the goodness of the state at which the agent aims. On some interpretations, the goodness at issue is always apparent goodness: an action is end-directed iff it aims at what appears good to the agent. On other interpretations, the goodness at issue is only sometimes apparent goodness and at other times merely objective goodness: some actions do not aim at what appears good to the agent, but merely at what is objectively good—that is, at what God knows to be good—and that is sufficient for teleology. My paper, on the other hand, argues that both of these interpretations are mistaken. Monadic teleology, I contend, does not have to consist in striving for the good; neither goodness nor God is required to make monadic actions teleological.



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Julia Jorati
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Citations of this work

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