Essence and Possibility in the Leibniz‐Arnauld Correspondence

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1):2-26 (2016)
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Abstract

In the 1680s, Gottfried Leibniz and Antoine Arnauld engaged in a philosophically rich correspondence. One issue they discuss is modal metaphysics – questions concerning necessity, possibility, and essence. While Arnauld's contributions to the correspondence are considered generally astute, his contributions on this issue have not always received a warm treatment. I argue that Arnauld's criticisms of Leibniz are sophisticated and that Arnauld offers his own Cartesian account in its place. In particular, I argue that Arnauld offers an account of possibility that is actualist, modal actualist and essence-based.

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Eric Stencil
Utah Valley University

Citations of this work

Antoine Arnauld.Elmar Kremer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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