In Rodolfo Garau & Pietro Omodeo (eds.), Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 289-316 (2019)

Authors
Tzuchien Tho
Bristol University
Abstract
This paper focuses on Leibniz’s conception of modality and its application to the issue of natural laws. The core of Leibniz’s investigation of the modality of natural laws lays in the distinction between necessary, geometrical laws on the one hand, and contingent, physical laws of nature on the other. For Leibniz, the contingency of physical laws entailed the assumption of the existence of an additional form of causality beyond mechanical or efficient ones. While geometrical truths, being necessary, do not require the use of the principle of sufficient reason, physical laws are not strictly determined by geometry and therefore are logically distinct from geometrical laws. As a consequence, the set of laws that regulate the physical laws could have been created otherwise by God. However, in addition to this, the contingency of natural laws does not consist only in the fact that God has chosen them over other possible ones. On the contrary, Leibniz understood the status of natural laws as arising from the action internal to physical substances. Hence the actuality of physical laws results from a causal power that is inherent to substances rather than being the mere consequence of the way God arranged the relations between physical objects. Focusing on three instances of Leibniz’s treatment of contingency in physics, this paper argues that, in order to account for the contingency of physical laws, Leibniz maintained that final causes, in addition to efficient and mechanical ones, must operate in physical processes and operations.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-67378-3_14
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Papers, Volume II.David Lewis - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Leibniz's Optics and Contingency in Nature.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2010 - Perspectives on Science 18 (4):432-455.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Leibniz's Optics and Contingency in Nature.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2010 - Perspectives on Science 18 (4):432-455.
Contingency, Imperfection and Evil.Saša Stanković - 2017 - Quaestiones Disputatae 7 (2):50-71.
Mathematical Biology and the Existence of Biological Laws.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In D. Dieks, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structure. Springer.
An Early Theory of Contingency in Leibniz.Samuel Murray - 2017 - Studia Leibnitiana 47 (2):205-219.
Leibniz and the Contingency of God Exists.David Werther - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (1):99.
Leibniz and the Contingency of God Exists.David Werther - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (1):99 - 107.
Why Did Leibniz Fail to Complete His Dynamics?Stephen Howard - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (1):22-40.
Leibniz on Teleology and the Intelligibility of Nature.James D. Madden - 2003 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:173-188.
Leibniz's Philosophy of Physics.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Leibniz.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1972 - Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Books.
Was Leibniz Entitled to Possible Worlds?Lynne Rudder Baker - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):57-74.
Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1972 - University of Notre Dame Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-10-15

Total views
260 ( #41,165 of 2,499,260 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #22,169 of 2,499,260 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes