Leibniz's Phenomenalism

Robert Merrihew Adams

in Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780195126495
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870974 | DOI:
 Leibniz's Phenomenalism

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The fundamental principle of Leibniz's idealism is that “there is nothing in things except simple substances, and in them perception and appetite.” He held that bodies are not simple, and therefore must be constructed out of the simple, perceiving substances. He held indeed that bodies are aggregates of substances, and also that they are merely phenomena (i.e., appearances). Leibniz's consistency and constancy in holding these two theses are defended in this chapter against highly influential objections. It considers in what sense he regarded bodies as phenomena (and in what sense as real), and why he thought their being aggregates of substances a reason for rather than against counting them as phenomena.

Keywords: aggregates; appetite; appearances; bodies; idealism; Leibniz; perception; phenomena; simple substances

Chapter.  26342 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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