Causation was an important topic of philosophical reflection during the Seventeenth Century. This reflection centred around certain particular problems about causation, one of which was the problem of causation between mind and body. The doctrine of the pre-establishedharmony is Leibniz's response to the problem of causation between mind and body. In this chapter I shall (a) explain the problem of mind-body causation; (b) explain Leibniz's pre-establishedharmony; and (c) assess his case for it.
In this paper I wish to examine the nature and role of "the phenomena of God" in Leinbiz's mature thought. In the first part of the paper, I discuss the nature of the universal harmony and argue that they are the perceptiual states of finite substances and the relations among them that constitute God's phenomena. In the second part of the paper, I attempt to specify the theoretical role that God's phenomena play in Leibniz's phenomenalism. This leads finally to (...) a discussion of Leibniz's teleological reasoning in the investigation of nature and of how that justification undercuts the argument for God's existence from the pre-establishedharmony. (shrink)
For more than a century the notion of a pre-establishedharmony between the mathematical and physical sciences has played an important role not only in the rhetoric of mathematicians and theoretical physicists, but also as a doctrine guiding much of their research. Strongly mathematized branches of physics, such as the vortex theory of atoms popular in Victorian Britain, were not unknown in the nineteenth century, but it was only in the environment of fin-de-siècle Germany that the idea of (...) a pre-establishedharmony really took off and became part of the mathematicians’ ideology. Important historical figures were in this respect David Hilbert, Hermann Minkowski and, somewhat later, Albert Einstein. Roughly similar ideas can be found also among British theorists, among whom Arthur Eddington, Arthur Milne, and Paul Dirac are singled out. Although largely limited to the period 1870–1940, the paper also considers Max Tegmark’s recent hypothesis of the universe being a one-to-one reflection of mathematical structures. (shrink)
‘Linguistic meaning must be public’ – for Quine, here is not a statement to rest with, whether it be reckoned true or reckoned false. It calls for explication. When we do, using Quine’s words to piece together what he thought, we find that much too much is concealed by the original statement. Yes, Quine said ‘Language is a social art’; yes, he accepts behaviourism so far as linguistic meaning is concerned; yes, he broadly agrees with Wittgenstein’s anti-privacy stricture. But precisely (...) what is being said by the original statement to be public, and what does calling it ‘public’ amount to? Pressing such questions complicates the picture enormously, partly though by no means entirely aligning Quine with linguistic internalism vis-à-vis Chomsky. (shrink)
Unter Berücksichtigung von Ishiguros Gegenargumenten untersucht dieser Aufsatz erneut die traditionelle Interpretation von Leibniz' These, daß es keine kausale Wechselwirkung zwischen den Substanzen gebe und daß die kausalen Erklärungen für die Eigenschaften einer Substanz völlig in ihrer Natur lägen. Ishiguros Argumente benutzen die Unterscheidung zwischen dem Begriff einer Substanz und ihrer Natur, und in der Tat kann die Philosophie von Leibniz ohne diese Unterscheidung nicht voll gewürdigt werden. Aber sie lassen nicht erkennen, daß für Leibniz keine eindeutige Entsprechung zwischen ihnen (...) besteht. Sie lassen nicht erkennen, daß die kausale Erklärung für die Eigenschaften einer Substanz nicht völlig in ihrer eigenen Natur liegt. Die traditionelle Interpretation der prästabilierten Harmonie wird von allem, was Leibniz sagt, unterstützt und sollte wieder zur Geltung kommen. (shrink)
Part II: Modeling Chapter 3: Single Populations Chapter 4: Multiple Populations Chapter 5: Information [ “The Use of Information Theory in Epistemology”, Philosophy of Science ...] Chapter 6: A two level model for Bacterial Epistemology Chapter 7: A three level model for Bumblebee Epistemology [ “Reliability and Novelty”.
Leibniz' prästabilierte Harmonie kann leicht als ein Versuch ausgelegt werden, die Beziehung zwischen cartesianischem Geist und Körper zu erklären, während gleichzeitig das Problem der 'kausalen Gleichheit' vermieden wird, das der cartesianische 'Interaktionismus' aufwirft. Es entstehen jedoch zwei Probleme durch eine Interpretation dieser Art. Erstens, warum wendet der frühe Leibniz die prästabilierte Harmonie auf alle Interaktionen zwischen Substanzen an und nicht nur auf die zwischen Geist und Körper? Zweitens, warum wendet der frühe Leibniz die prästabilierte Harmonie auf die Beziehung zwischen Geist (...) und Körper an, obwohl seine Ontologie nicht cartesianisch ist und also keine prästabilierte Harmonie zu rechtfertigen scheint? Ich behaupte, daß die Antwort auf die erste Frage in dem, was ich Leibniz' 'metaphysischen Fundamentalismus' nenne zu finden ist, und die Antwort auf die zweite Frage in Leibniz' Bemühung, die 'moralische Identität' der rationalen Seele zu erhalten. Ich behaupte außerdem - in beiden Fällen - 'daß Leibniz' Ziel eine fundamentale Alternative zum Cartesianismus und nicht nur eine bloße Abwandlung ist. (shrink)
Die Kontroverse mit François Lamy ist unter denen von Leibniz' Système nouveau hervorgerufenen eine der am wenigsten diskutierten. Die wenigen neueren Quellen sind schlecht dokumentiert und in wichtigen Details nicht korrekt. Wir versuchen hier, die Bibliographie richtigzustellen. Da Lamys Arbeit äußerst selten ist, fügen wir englische Übersetzungen der relevanten Stellen bei. Nach Pierre Bayle war eher Lamy als Leibniz der erste, der den Begriff , prüstabilierte Harmonie' verwendete. Es stellt sich heraus, daβ dem nicht so ist.
will give an overview of the fascinating communication between G. W. Leibniz and Pierre Bayle on pre-establishedharmony and sudden change in the soul which started from Bayle’s footnote H to the article “Rorarius” in his Dictionnaire historique et critique (1697) and ended in 1706 with Bayle’s death. I will compare the views presented in the communication to Leibniz’s reflections on the soul in his partly concurrent Nouveaux essais sur l’entendement humain (1704) and argue that many topics in (...) the communication with Bayle are discussed with more details in Nouveaux essais. I also argue that the communication helped Leibniz to respond to Locke’s views concerning uneasiness in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, II, xxi. Bayle himself, however, was not able to completely understand Leibniz’s views on spontaneity as he was unaware of the contents of the Nouveaux essais, especially the systematic role of petites perceptions in Leibniz’s philosophy of mind. I will also reflect on whether the controversy could have ended in agreement if it would have continued longer. (shrink)
Leibniz took pride in the Pre-establishedHarmony as an account of mind-body union. On the other hand, he sometimes claimed that he did not have a good account of such a union. I explain the tension by distinguishing between two importantly different issues that concern the union: body-soul interaction and the per se unity of the composite. Furthermore, I argue that, contrary to R.M. Adams, Leibniz did have the philosophical resources to account for a per se unity of (...) the body-soul composite by invoking Aristolian scholastic solutions to that problem. (shrink)
: Mendelssohn’s Philosophische Gespräche, first published in 1755, represents his first philosophical work in German and rather surprisingly for a debut, in the first two dialogues of that work Mendelssohn attempts nothing less than a defense of the legacy of the most controversial philosopher of his day, Benedict de Spinoza. In this paper, I attempt to enlarge the context, and if possible to raise the stakes, of Mendelssohn’s discussion in order to bring out what I take to be a much (...) more ambitious project on Mendelssohn’s part, namely, not only the rehabilitation of a fellow Jewish thinker but also the rehabilitation of metaphysics as such by means of a thorough accounting of the Spinozan elements in the Wolffian philosophy. As I will show, framing the project of the Gespräche too narrowly is responsible for obscuring much of what I take to be most original and insightful in Mendelssohn’s use and interpretation of Wolff’s thought, as well as his ultimate purpose in resolving what he regarded as an ongoing crisis in metaphysics that is responsible to no small extent for its widespread neglect. (shrink)
This article calls into question the notion that seventeenth-century authors such as Descartes and Leibniz straightforwardly conceived the mind as something "outside" nature. Descartes indeed did regard matter as distinct from mind, but the question then remains as to whether he equated the natural world, and the world of laws of nature, with the material world. Similarly, Leibniz distinguished a kingdom of final causes (pertaining to souls) and a kingdom of efficient causes (pertaining to bodies and motions), but the question (...) remains as to whether he equated nature with the second kingdom alone, or included both kingdoms within nature. Although Kant sundered Leibniz's envisioned connection between the two kingdoms, even he did not place mind fully outside nature. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider Baumgarten’s views on the soul in the context of the Pietist critique of Wolff’s rational psychology. My primary aim is to account for the largely unacknowledged differences between Wolff’s and Baumgarten’s rational psychology, though I also hope to show that, in some cases, the Pietists were rather more perceptive in their reading of Wolff than they are typically given credit for as their criticisms frequently succeed in drawing attention to significant omissions in Wolff’s discussion.
This essay is a response to John Milbank’s comparison of Kant and Aquinas’ theories of analogy in ‘A Critique of the Theology of Right’. A critique of Milbank’s essay forms the point of departure for my reconstruction of Kant’s actual theory of analogy. I show that the usual focus on the Prolegomena for this end is insufficient; in fact, the full extent of Kant’s theory of analogy only becomes clear in the Critique of Judgment. I also consider the significance of (...) the Analogies of Experience in the Critique of Pure Reason. In conclusion, I draw on the work of Michel Guérin to designate Kantian analogy, ‘post-established harmony’. (shrink)
Las filosofías de Wolff y Baumgarten han sido tradicionalmente evaluadas como una mera sistematización de las doctrinas de Leibniz, carente de toda originalidad. Se revisa esta opinión, concentrándose en el problema específico de la interacción de las sustancias naturales. Se muestra que ellos no siguen a Leibniz con el mismo grado de cercanía en algunos de los principios centrales de la teoría de la armonía preestablecida. Se problematiza así el uso de la etiqueta "leibnizianismo" como referida a un cuerpo homogéneo (...) e indiferenciado de doctrinas. The philosophies of Wolff and Baumgarten have been traditionally evaluated as mere systematizations of the doctrines of Leibniz, and, therefore, as lacking all originality. The paper revises that opinion, focusing on the specific problem of the interaction of natural substances, in order to show that they do not follow Leibniz as closely with respect to some of the central principles of pre-establishedharmony. It also questions the use of "Leibnizianism" as a label to refer to a homogeneous and undifferentiated body of doctrines. As filosofias de Wolff e Baumgarten têm sido tradicionalmente avaliadas como uma mera sistematização das doutrinas de Leibniz, carente de toda originalidade. Neste artigo, revisa-se essa opinião concentrando-se no problema específico da interação das substâncias naturais. Mostra-se que eles não seguem Leibniz com o mesmo grau de aproximação em alguns dos princípios centrais da teoria da harmonia preestabelecida. Problematiza-se, assim, o uso da etiqueta "leibnizianismo" como referência a um corpo homogêneo e indiferenciado de doutrinas. (shrink)
Malebranche is both an occasionalist and an advocate of the preformationist theory of generation. One might expect this given that he is a mechanist: passive matter cannot be the source of its own motion and so requires God to move it (occasionalism); and such matter, moving according to a few simple laws of motion, could never fashion something as complex as a living being, and so organisms must be fashioned by God at Creation (preformationism). This expectation finds a challenge in (...) Kant's depiction of the relation between causation and generation. According to Kant, preformation is the generation theory one would expect the advocate of the pre-establishedharmony to endorse, while the occasionalist would endorse a theory whereby God directly forms the organism upon every insemination. I make sense of Malebranche's position in light of Kant's suggestion by examining the relation Malebranche sees between science and metaphysics, the roles that he believes empirical investigations and final causes have in scientific practice and explanation, and the role of the supernatural in Malebranche's philosophy. (shrink)
The article presents the views of Benedict Bornstein, formulated in his early writings, such as The Pre-established Transcendental Harmony as the Foundation of Kant’s Theory and The Basic Problem of Kant’s Theory of Cognition. These views pertain to the Kantian dualism of concepts and intuitions and they are presented against the background of the contemporary debate about the contents of perceptual experience. Recognizing the rightness of Bornstein’s claim about the non-conceptual character of the Kantian intuitions, I criticize Bornstein’s (...) solution to the problem of dualism, which necessitates an appeal to the conception of transcendental harmony, established by an act of God’s will. (shrink)
This book offers a major reassessment of Leibniz's metaphysics. Christia Mercer has exposed the underlying doctrines of Leibniz's philosophy. By analysing Leibniz's early works she demonstrates that the metaphysics of pre-establishedharmony developed many years earlier than previously believed and for reasons which have not been understood. As a result of this analysis she has unearthed a philosophical school that Leibniz scholars have not recognized. A much deeper understanding of some of Leibniz's key doctrines emerges. Moreover, since the (...) Leibniz that is revealed here does not fit neatly into the standard accounts of the history of philosophy and science, Christia Mercer's study will prompt scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about early modern philosophy and science. (shrink)
This chapter discusses Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophical reflections on mind and body. It first considers Leibniz’s distinction between substance and aggregate, referring to the former as a being that must have true unity (what he calls unum per se) and to the latter as simply a collection of other beings. It then describes Leibniz’s extension of the term “substance” to monads and other things such as animals and living beings. It also examines Leibniz’s views about the union of mind and (...) body, whether mind and body interact, and how interaction is related to union. More specifically, it asks whether mind and body together constitute an unum per se and analyzes Leibniz’s account of the per se unity of mind-body composites. In addition, the chapter explores the problem of soul-body union as opposed to mind-body union and concludes by discussing Leibniz’s explanation of soul-body interaction using a system of pre-establishedharmony. (shrink)
The paper defends causal explanationism concerning our modal intuitions and judgments, and, in particular, the following claims. If a causally explainable mirroring or “pre-establishedharmony” between our mind and modal reality obtains, we are justified in believing it does. We do not hold our modal beliefs compulsively and blindly but with full subjective and objective justification. Therefore, causal explanation of our modal beliefs does not undermine rational trust in them. Explanation and trust support each other. In contrast, anti-explanationists, (...) claim that causal explanation of intuitions and judgments undermines rational trust in them. They especially target causal explanation in terms of pre-establishedharmony between our mind, shaped by causal processes, and the underlying modal structure of reality. The paper argues against them. The argument builds upon the claim that the appeal to modal facts is indispensable for systematization and explanation of non-modal ones. Therefore, we should assume that modal facts exist and are not disjoint and isolated from actual facts. The modal structure of the universe intervenes in the non-modal reality. Causal processes indirectly carry information about deep modal structure. Any causal explanation of our intuitional modal beliefs should start from this indirect contact with and information about modal facts. Therefore, if our intuitional modal beliefs are true and causally explainable, they are true in virtue of the deep underlying modal structure. They are sensitive to modal reality and track it. We can come to know this fact, and thus strengthen our spontaneous trust in our modal intuitions. (shrink)
This article is about the exchanges between Leibniz, Arnauld, Bayle and Lamy on the subject of pain. The inability of Leibniz’s system to account for the phenomenon of pain is a recurring objection of Leibniz’s seventeenth-century Cartesian readers to his hypothesis of pre-establishedharmony: according to them, the spontaneity of the soul and its representative nature cannot account for the affective component of pain. Strikingly enough, this problem has almost never been addressed in Leibniz studies, or only incidentally, (...) through the more general problem of evil. My purpose in this article is to clarify Leibniz’s psychophysical parallelism by opposing his representationist account of pain to the functionalist account endorsed by Arnauld, Bayle, Lamy and Malebranche. (shrink)
In Malebranche's account of occasional causality, God exercises his general will with respect to every event that merits a causal explanation. Nadler distinguishes two pictures of God's involvement; (1) there are as many distinct acts of God's will as there are causal events to be explained; (2) God's will is exercised once only, when the natural order of causes is created. I argue that Malebranche's concept of God is inconsistent with a real distinction between God and acts of his will, (...) and with using temporal parameters to identify God's acts. Thus, Leibniz's pre-establishedharmony is analogous to Malebranche's occasionalist concurrence. (shrink)
Intentionality, as Brentano originally introduced the term in modern philosophy, was meant to provide a distinctive characteristic definitively separating the mental from the physical.(1) Mental states have an intrinsic relationship to an object, to that which they are "about." Physical entities just are what they are, they cannot, by their very essence, refer to anything, they have no "outreach", as one might put it. Mental states have, as it were, an incomplete essence, they cannot exist at all unless they are (...) completed by something other than themselves, their object. Brentano's position is opposed to all theories which represent the mental as only extrinsically related to the world, that is, to all theories in which mental states are themselves self-sufficient for their own existence and only secondarily relate to the world by means of something external to their nature, e.g., neurological causation, divine intervention, or pre-establishedharmony. In these later cases, any mental act whatsoever could be related to any object, or indeed to none, for the relation is external to the nature of the act, it is superimposed on it by outside forces. Brentano's point is that a mental act has, by its very essence, an Intentional object without which it would not be a mental act. It would therefore appear that since causality is an external relationship which could in principle relate any two things regardless of their nature, the Intentional relation between an act and its object cannot be a causal relation. (shrink)
READING LEIBNIZ. Context of Leibniz's philosophy -- Difficulties of reading Leibniz -- Using this book -- GOD AND THE BEST POSSIBLE WORLD. Two principles of knowledge -- The existence of god -- The nature of God -- The best of all possible worlds -- SUBSTANCES. Substance in early modern philosophy -- The simplicity and unity of substance in Leibniz -- Substances as points of view on the universe -- Interaction and pre-establishedharmony -- RATIONAL MINDS. Minute perceptions and (...) levels of awareness -- Necessary truths and innate ideas -- Knowledge -- identity and choice -- LEIBNIZ'S PHILOSOPHY AND LEIBNIZ AS PHILOSOPHER . (shrink)
The main topic of the following dissertation is Kant's Third Analogy of Experience, which asserts that one must posit a bond of mutual interaction in order to judge that two substances exist simultaneously. Part One considers the Third Analogy proper and reconstructs two plausible arguments for its main claim. Contrary to the view of most commentators , Kant is entitled to a strong causal notion of mutual interaction. Part Two considers the historical debate between proponents of Pre-establishedHarmony, (...) Occasionalism, and Physical Influx and how the Third Analogy can be seen as Kant's most developed version of Physical Influx. Thus, we see that Kant's concern with causality is not exhausted by his reply to Hume in the Second Analogy of Experience. For Kant is clearly concerned to attack the rationalist tradition by criticizing Leibniz's and Wolff's Pre-establishedHarmony, on the one hand, and the Cartesians' and Malebranche's Occasionalism, on the other hand. Part Three considers the argumentative structure of Kant's Metaphysische Anfangsgrunde der Naturwissenschaft and how the Third Analogy relates to this work. Contrary to what one might expect, the MAdN does not proceed by first presupposing a Principle from the first Critique and then substituting in the concept of matter. Rather, its substantial results are obtained through an extended transcendental argument showing how we can have experience of objects of outer sense . Further, we see how the abstract notion of mutual interaction involved in the Third Analogy becomes more specific in the MAdN since two of the most important features of its central notion of matter, namely the capacities of filling a space and of communicating motion, require attractive and repulsive forces and action and reaction, both instances of mutual interaction. These three lines of argument establish that the Third Analogy of Experience both constitutes a crucial part of Kant's position and presents a philosophically plausible view. (shrink)
In Immanuel Kant's pre-critical writings as well as in his main critical work, the Critique of Pure Reason, one finds a whole battery of fierce attacks on core doctrines of Leibnizian philosophy, e.g., the monadology, the principle of the identity of indiscernibles, the principle of sufficient reason, the doctrine of the pre-establishedharmony, or the relationalist theory of space and time. It is tempting to read Kant's philosophical development as a gradual emancipation from his Leibnizian upbringing, culminating in (...) a thorough rejection of Leibnizian philosophy as a paradigm case of the kind of dogmatic metaphysics that Kant wants to overcome with his critical philosophy. ;But in addition to the familiar texts in which Kant attacks the Leibnizians there are several curious, less well-discussed passages in which Kant speaks in highly approving terms of Leibniz. In these passages Kant self-avowedly defends Leibniz against his Leibniz-Wolffian followers who, according to Kant, have seriously misunderstood Leibniz's original position. Kant maintains that a correct reading of Leibniz reveals that his own and Leibniz's views are in fact very close, and that with regard to many issues that are central to transcendental idealism Leibniz had already tried to say what Kant then made explicit in his critical work. ;The project of this essay is to lay the foundation for the examination of an unorthodox reading of the relation between Leibnizian metaphysics and Kantian transcendental idealism, according to which Kant's critical philosophy can correctly be described as the "true apology of Leibniz", as Kant claims, while Kant's sharply critical objections in the pre-critical works and in the Critique of Pure Reason for the most part don't apply to Leibniz's original theory but to Leibniz-Wolffian school-philosophy. The present essay provides the necessary groundwork for the examination of this unorthodox reading by showing that, and to what extent these Kantian objections do not apply to Leibniz himself, and by arguing that Kant's reading of certain central Leibnizian doctrines in which Leibnizian metaphysics is represented as a forerunner of transcendental idealism is indeed defensible. (shrink)
According to Hermann von Helmholtz, sensations are signs that external causes impress on our sense organs; those signs are then used by the mind to acquire knowledge of the reality. Helmholtz's work points out the difficulty of defining a notion of causality suitable for explaining the relation between sensations on the one hand and the physical world on the other. In fact, he states that: 1) Physical stimuli, understood as the causal origins of sensations, are unknowable in themselves; 2) There (...) is no empirical evidence for the kind of causality from which sensations originate; 3) A transcendental causality is nothing but the urge of the intellect to know everything. It is necessary to keep in mind that Helmholtz is a committed empiricist : therefore, he believes that all knowledge originates from sensations. He tries avoiding commitments with any kind of pre-establishedharmony between the two sides of the causal relation. That is to say, sensible perceptions give us information about the peculiarities of the external world, but the relation between sensations and the reality should be explained and should not be taken for granted. In this paper, I study Helmholtz's struggles with providing a suitable explanation of that relation; in doing so, I also make use of Emile Du Bois-Reymond's work concerning the limits of human understanding, and in particular the transcendent difficulty of grasping the origins of sensations. (shrink)
Leibniz coined the word “dynamics,” but his own dynamics has never been completed. However, there are many illuminating ideas scattered in his writings on dynamics and metaphysics. In this paper, I will present my own interpretation of Leibniz’s dynamics and metaphysics. To my own surprise, Leibniz’s dynamics and metaphysics are incredibly flexible and modern. In particular, the metaphysical part, namely Monadology, can be interpreted as a theory of information in terms of monads, which generate both physical phenomena and mental phenomena. (...) The phenomena, i.e., how the world of monads appears to each monad must be distinguished from its internal states, which Leibniz calls perceptions, and the phenomena must be understood as the results of these states and God’s coding. My distinctive claim is that most interpreters ignored this coding. His dynamics and metaphysics can provide a framework good enough for enabling Einstein’s special relativity. And finally, his dynamics and metaphysics can provide a very interesting theory of space and time. In Part 1, we will focus on the relationship between metaphysics and dynamics. Leibniz often says that dynamics is subordinated to metaphysics. We have to take this statement seriously, and we have to investigate how dynamics and metaphysics are related. To this question, I will give my own answer, based on my informational interpretation. On my view, Leibniz’s metaphysics tries, among others, to clarify the following three: How each monad is programmed. How monads are organized into many groups, each of which is governed by a dominant monad ; this can be regarded as a precursor of von Neumann’s idea of cellular automata. And how the same structure is repeated in sub-layers of the organization. This structure is best understood in terms of the hierarchy of programs, a nested structure going down from the single dominant program to subprograms, which again controls respective subprograms, and ad infinitum. If we may use a modern term, this is a sort of recursion, although Leibniz himself did not know this word. And one of my major discoveries is that the same recursive structure is repeated in the phenomenal world, the domain of dynamical investigations. Recursion of what, you may ask. I will argue that it is elastic collision. For Leibniz, aside from inertial motions, dynamical changes of motion are brought about by elastic collisions, at any level of the infinite divisibility of matter. This nicely corresponds to the recursive structure of the program of a monad, or of the program of an organized group of monads. This is the crux of his claim that dynamics is subordinated to metaphysics. Moreover, the program of any monad is teleological, whereas the phenomenal world is governed by efficient cause of dynamics. And it is natural that the pre-establishedharmony is there, since God is the ultimate programmer, as well as the creator. (shrink)