Situating time in the Leibnizian hierarchy of beings

Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):245-260 (2008)
Leibniz’s widely influential account of time provides a significant puzzle for those seeking to locate this account within his hierarchical ontology. Leibniz follows his scholastic predecessors in supposing that there are different grades of being, with substances being the most real and all other things possessing their reality via their relationships to substance. Following this picture, Leibniz suggests that phenomenal bodies only possess the being that they derive from the substances (i.e., monads) that ground them. Some would argue that time likewise only possesses its being based on the bodies that it relates. Contrary to this suggestion (i.e., that time is twice removed from substances), I will argue that time is derived directly from rational souls. Thus, I will argue that time is on an ontological par with the phenomenal world of bodies
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2008.tb00078.x
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