Idealistic Studies 8 (2):124-135 (1978)

Authors
Kenneth Seeskin
Northwestern University
Abstract
This is an essay in what might be termed philosophic appreciation. Ordinarily one should not have to take to print to ask people to appreciate the writings of a figure like Leibniz. But the particular aspect of Leibniz’ thought that I would like to discuss is one which most contemporary philosophers find totally unpalatable. According to the conventional wisdom, the claim that existence is a perfection was refuted once and for all by Kant. The passages where Leibniz suggests that there is something good in the mere realization of essence generally are read only to prepare the way for the eventual triumph of philosophers like Hume, Kant, and Russell. If the only thing I accomplish by writing this essay is to show that Leibniz’ position deserves serious consideration and cannot be rejected out of hand, then I will have accomplished something of value. For the most part, the question, “Is existence a perfection?,” is not discussed by contemporary metaphysicians because it is not thought to be a live, philosophic issue.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI 10.5840/idstudies19788212
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