Possible Worlds

Benson Mates

in The Philosophy of Leibniz

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780195059465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833429 | DOI:
Possible Worlds

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According to Leibniz, the actual world, which does exist, is only one of infinitely many possible worlds that could have existed. It is the best of the possible worlds, in the sense that any change in it, when considered with all its necessary preconditions and consequences, would be a change for the worse; and that is why God chose to create it instead of one of the other possibilities. This chapter examines Leibniz's notion of possible worlds. A possible world turns out to be a system of concepts, not of individuals satisfying those concepts. The chapter goes on to offer a numerical model of Leibniz's system of possible worlds in order to show that that system is consistent.

Keywords: actual world; best of all possible worlds; creation; Leibniz; possible world; reflection

Chapter.  8846 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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