Leibniz and Kant on Possibility and Existence

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):953-972 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper examines the Leibnizian background to Kant's critique of the ontological argument. I present Kant's claim that existence is not a real predicate, already formulated in his pre-critical essay of 1673, as a generalization of Leibniz's reasoning regarding the existence of created things. The first section studies Leibniz's equivocations on the notion of existence and shows that he employs two distinct notions of existence ? one for God and another for created substances. The second section examines Kant's position in his early paper of 1763. My claim is that Kant's view of existence in 1763, namely that it is not a predicate, is strongly related to the logical notion of possibility, formulated by Leibniz and accepted by Kant

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Ohad Nachtomy
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

References found in this work

The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Leibniz: determinist, theist, idealist.Adams Robert Merrihew - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Leibniz's philosophy of logic and language.Hidé Ishiguro - 1972 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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