Noûs 46 (3):418-448 (2012)

Authors
Martin Lin
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
Metaphysical rationalism, the doctrine which affirms the Principle of Sufficient Reason (the PSR), is out of favor today. The best argument against it is that it appears to lead to necessitarianism, the claim that all truths are necessarily true. Whatever the intuitive appeal of the PSR, the intuitive appeal of the claim that things could have been otherwise is greater. This problem did not go unnoticed by the great metaphysical rationalists Spinoza and Leibniz. Spinoza’s response was to embrace necessitarianism. Leibniz’s response was to argue that, despite appearances, rationalism does not lead to necessitarianism. This paper examines the debate between these two rationalists and concludes that Leibniz has persuasive grounds for his opinion. This has significant implications both for the plausibility of the PSR and for our understanding of modality.
Keywords Spinoza  Leibniz  Principle of Sufficient Reason  Rationalism  Necessitarianism  Metaphysical Rationalism  modality  necessity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2011.00832.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

Spinoza.Don Garrett - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):952-955.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Metaphysical Rationalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):379-418.
Able to Do the Impossible.Jack Spencer - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):466-497.
The Paradox of Sufficient Reason.Samuel Levey - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 125 (3):397-430.
Principle of Sufficient Reason.Yitzhak Melamed & Martin Lin - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Spinoza’s Proof of Necessitarianism.Olli Koistinen - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):283–310.
Truthmaker Necessitarianism and Maximalism.Ross P. Cameron - 2005 - Logique Et Analyse 48 (189-192):43-56.
Schaffer on Laws of Nature.Alastair Wilson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):653-667.
Necessitarianism in Spinoza and Leibniz.Michael V. Griffin - 2008 - In Charles Huenemann (ed.), Interpreting Spinoza: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Leibniz's Modal Metaphysics.Brandon C. Look - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-10-20

Total views
3,243 ( #941 of 2,463,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
188 ( #2,790 of 2,463,176 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes