Leibniz and the Veridicality of Body Perceptions

Authors
Kenneth L. Pearce
Trinity College, Dublin
Abstract
According to Leibniz's late metaphysics, sensory perception represents to us as extended, colored, textured, etc., a world which fundamentally consists only of non-spatial, colorless entities, the monads. It is a short step from here to the conclusion that sensory perception radically misleads us about the true nature of reality. In this paper, I argue that this oft-repeated claim is false. Leibniz holds that in typical cases of body perception the bodies perceived really exist and have the qualities, both primary and secondary, they are perceived to have. At the same time, Leibniz holds that our perceptions of these bodies are accurate representations of the monads from which the bodies result. The contrary thesis — that our body perceptions are misrepresentations of the monads — stems from a misunderstanding of Leibniz's theory of confused concepts and his phenomenalist account of the nature of body. Clarifying these issues will have important consequences for our understanding of Leibniz's idealistic metaphysics and the manner in which that metaphysical theory is meant to support mechanistic science
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References found in this work BETA

Leibniz on the Metaphysics of Color.Stephen Puryear - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):319-346.

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Citations of this work BETA

How Berkeley's Gardener Knows His Cherry Tree.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):553-576.

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