Descartes, Malebranche and Leibniz: conceptions of substance in arguments for the immateriality of the soul

Marleen Rozemond
University of Toronto at Mississauga
ABSTRACTThe most prominent early modern argument against materialism is to be found in Descartes. Previously I had argued that this argument relies crucially on a robust conception of substance, according to which it has a single principal attribute of which all its other intrinsic qualities are modes. In the present paper I return to this claim. In Section 2, I address a question that is often raised about that conception of substance: its commitment to the idea that a substance has a single such principal attribute. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra and Daniel Garber have argued that this claim relies on Descartes's identification of substance with attribute. But I argue that it relies on his view that a substance has a single, unitary nature. In Section 3, I examine the role of this conception of substance in arguments found in Malebranche and Leibniz and compare these arguments with Descartes's.
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2016.1149445
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References found in this work BETA

.Donald Rutherford - 1993 - Penn St Univ Pr.
3 Locke's Philosophy of Body.Edwin McCann - 1994 - In V. C. Chappell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Locke. Cambridge University Press. pp. 56.
Superadded Properties: The Limits of Mechanism in Locke.Margaret D. Wilson - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):143 - 150.

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Varieties of Early Modern Materialism.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):797-813.

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