The One and the Many and Kinds of Distinctness

Mark Kulstad

in Leibniz

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195143744
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835317 | DOI:
The One and the Many and Kinds of Distinctness

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This essay offers a new perspective on Leibniz’s reputed brief embrace of monism and pantheism during his formative Paris period (1672-76). Adams’ and Mercer’s treatments of Leibniz on pantheism and monism are considered to show how the careful delineation of kinds of distinction — particularly attention to the special cases of modal and real distinction highlighted in the “all things are one” passage — is essential to clarify the subtle and difficult issues associated with unravelling Leibniz’s developing thought in this area. It is argued that in the “all things are one” passage of 1676, Leibniz endorsed and argued for the position of monism and pantheism.

Keywords: Leibniz; monism; pantheism; metaphysics

Chapter.  14638 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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