Studia Leibnitiana 10 (1):2 - 21 (1978)

Many of the problems traditionally related to the interpretation of Leibniz' theory of relations may be seen in a better light considering essentially two factors: 1) the different plans (ontological, metaphysical, psychological and logical-linguistic) implied by Leibniz reflections on the subject; 2) the reference to scholastic and late-scholastic texts read or consulted by Leibniz. Relations for Leibniz are, from a metaphysical point of view, denominations only seemingly external, they are in reality denominationes intrinsecae, and are founded on the general connection of all things. From a psychological point of view they are abstract entities that our mind builds by resemblance. From an ontological point of view they are individual accidents inherent to the substances. From a logical-linguistic point of view they are abstract structures that connect the one to the other at least two subjects. The propositions in which they appear, as for example the proposition “Paris loves Helen” are transformed by Leibniz in equivalent propositions joined by operators, which in medieval logic were known as termini reduplicantes (terms which define mostly intensional contexts). This may be seen with sufficient clarity examining the last part, until now inedited, of the famous passage about Paris and Helen published by Couturat in his Opuscules
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