Chapter

“Two Great Principles” and Two Lesser Ones

Benson Mates

in The Philosophy of Leibniz

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780195059465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833429 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195059468.003.0010
“Two Great Principles” and Two Lesser Ones

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The “two great principles” are the principle of contradiction (“every proposition is either true or false, and not both”) and the principle of sufficient reason (“nothing occurs for which it would be impossible for someone who had enough knowledge of things to give a reason adequate to determine why the thing is as it is and not otherwise”). The two lesser ones are the principle of Continuity (“there are no gaps in nature”) and that of The Best (“everything in the actual world is the best it can be”). The explication and criticism of these principles and their seeming consequences constitute the content of the present chapter.

Keywords: consistency; continuity; contradiction; God; Leibniz; necessary truth; sufficient reason; truth

Chapter.  10332 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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