Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad

Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad

4.15 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Daniel Garber presents an illuminating study of Leibniz's conception of the physical world. Leibniz's commentators usually begin with monads, mind-like simple substances, the ultimate building-blocks of the Monadology. But Leibniz's apparently idealist metaphysics is very puzzling: how can any sensible person think that the world is made up of tiny minds? In this book, Garber tries to make Leibniz's thought intelligible by focusing instead on his notion of
body. Beginning with Leibniz's earliest writings, he shows how Leibniz starts as a Hobbesian with a robust sense of the physical world, and how, step by step, he advances to the monadological metaphysics of his later years. Much of the book's focus is on Leibniz's middle years, where the fundamental
constituents of the world are corporeal substances, unities of matter and form understood on the model of animals. For Garber monads only enter fairly late in Leibniz's career, and when they enter, he argues, they do not displace bodies but complement them. In the end, though, Garber argues that Leibniz never works out the relation between the world of monads and the world of bodies to his own satisfaction: at the time of his death, his philosophy is still a work in progress.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 452 pages
  • 155 x 229 x 27mm | 700g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0199693099
  • 9780199693092
  • 1,591,166

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. First Thoughts ; 2. Reforming Mechanism: Unity ; 3. Reforming Mechanism: Body and Force, Matter and Form (I) ; 4. Reforming Mechanism: Body and Force, Matter and Form (II) ; 5. Complete Individual Concepts, Non-Communication and Causal Connection ; 6. Divine Wisdom and Final Causes ; 7. Leibnizian Phenomenalisms ; 8. Enchanting the World: "...after many corrections and forward steps in my thinking" ; 9. Monads, Bodies and Corporeal Substances: The Endgame ; Epilogue ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

Daniel Garber's book is an important contribution. * Tamas Demeter, Philosophy in Review * With a powerful mix of original scholarship, textual analysis, and contextualization, Daniel Garber closes a case he has been building for nearly thirty years against the myth of Leibniz as "a dogmatic who from his early years to the end of his life lived in an austere and immaterial world of spiritual substances". * Geoffrey Gorham, Isis *
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About Daniel Garber

Daniel Garber received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University in 1975. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1975, and from 2002 he has taught at Princeton University, where he is Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy and an Associate Member of the Program in History of Science.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 46% (6)
4 31% (4)
3 15% (2)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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