Chapter

Space and time

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

in Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780198712664
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191781018 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712664.003.0012
Space and time

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This chapter focuses on Leibniz’s arguments against absolute space, time, and motion in the correspondence with Clarke. It argues that the Identity of Indiscernibles plays no role in Leibniz’s famous argument against absolute space (the ‘changing East into West’ argument). The chapter also discusses why a certain argument against absolute space is absent from the Clarke correspondence. The argument, which the author calls the Direct Argument, is this: If space were absolute, some of its parts would be perfectly similar; there are no/cannot be perfectly similar things; therefore, space is not absolute. The chapter’s hypothesis is that the Direct Argument does not appear in the correspondence with Clarke because it is not conducive to one of Leibniz’s ultimate dialectic aims in that correspondence, which was to show that Newton’s and Clarke’s philosophy of nature implies a low idea of God’s wisdom and power.

Keywords: motion; space; time; vacuum

Chapter.  6143 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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