Was Leibniz the First Spacetime Structuralist?

Abstract

I argue that the standard interpretation of Leibniz as a relationist about space is mistaken, and defend a reading according to which his correspondence with Samuel Clarke actually suggests that Leibniz holds a view closely resembling modern spacetime structuralism. I distinguish my proposal from Belot's recent reading of Leibniz as a modal relationist, arguing for the superiority of my reading based on the Clarke correspondence and on Leibniz's conception of God's relation to the created world. I note a tension between my proposal and Leibniz's ontology, and suggest that a solution is forthcoming and worth pursuing.

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Kyle Sereda
University of California, San Diego

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