Supervenience and (non-modal) reductionism in Leibniz's philosophy of time
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (4):793-810 (2002)
It has recently been suggested that, for Leibniz, temporal facts globally supervene on causal facts, with the result that worlds differing with respect to their causal facts can be indiscernible with respect to their temporal facts. Such an interpretation is at variance with more traditional readings of Leibniz's causal theory of time, which hold that Leibniz reduces temporal facts to causal facts. In this article, I argue against the global supervenience construal of Leibniz's philosophy of time. On the view of Leibniz defended here, he adopts a non-modal reduction of time to events, a form of reductionism that entails a strong covariation between a world's temporal facts and its causal facts. Consequently, worlds discernible with respect to their temporal facts must be discernible with respect to their causal facts, and worlds discernible with respect to their causal facts must be discernible with respect to their temporal facts. This position strongly favors the standard identificatory reduction of time to causation often imputed to Leibniz.
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