Leibniz on compossibility

Philosophy Compass 4 (6):962-977 (2009)
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Abstract

Leibniz's well-known thesis that the actual world is just one among many possible worlds relies on the claim that some possibles are incompossible , meaning that they cannot belong to the same world. Notwithstanding its central role in Leibniz's philosophy, commentators have disagreed about how to understand the compossibility relation. We examine several influential interpretations and demonstrate their shortcomings. We then sketch a new reading, the cosmological interpretation, and argue that it accommodates two key conditions that any successful interpretation must satisfy.

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Author Profiles

James Messina
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Donald Rutherford
University of California, San Diego

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References found in this work

New Essays on Human Understanding.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Peter Remnant & Jonathan Bennett.
Philosophical papers and letters.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz & Leroy E. Loemker - 1956 - Chicago,: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Leroy E. Loemker.

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