Chapter

Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach

Stephen Puryear

in Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume VI

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659593
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745218 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.003.0005

Series: Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy

Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach

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This chapter concerns two apparently incompatible strands in Leibniz's thought about motion during his ‘middle years’ (roughly the 1680s and 1690s). After presenting the textual evidence for these strands and casting doubt on one recent proposal for reconciling them, it is argued that Leibniz did indeed have a single consistent theory of motion during his middle years. The key to seeing this is to appreciate three nuances in his account that have tended to go unnoticed. The chapter concludes by considering whether the view of motion being imputed to Leibniz during his middle years should be viewed as a kind of realism or, in anticipation of his later philosophy, a kind of phenomenalism or idealism.

Keywords: G.W. Leibniz; motion; middle years; realism; phenomenalism; idealism

Chapter.  15434 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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