Leibniz's Metaphysics

Leibniz's Metaphysics : Its Origins and Development

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This book offers a major reassessment of Leibniz's metaphysics. Christia Mercer has exposed the underlying doctrines of Leibniz's philosophy. By analysing Leibniz's early works she demonstrates that the metaphysics of pre-established harmony developed many years earlier than previously believed and for reasons which have not been understood. As a result of this analysis she has unearthed a philosophical school that Leibniz scholars have not recognized. A much deeper understanding of some of Leibniz's key doctrines emerges. Moreover, since the Leibniz that is revealed here does not fit neatly into the standard accounts of the history of philosophy and science, Christia Mercer's study will prompt scholars to reconsider their basic assumptions about early modern philosophy and science.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 35mm | 811g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521029929
  • 9780521029926
  • 1,778,651

Table of contents

Acknowledgments; References to Leibniz's works; Introduction: first truths and half truths; Part I. Metaphysics of Method: 1. Eclecticism and conciliation, 1661-68; Part II. Metaphysics of Substance: 2. Aristotelian assumptions, 1668-69; 3. Original conception of substance, 1669; 4. Second conception of substance, 1669-early 1671; Part III. Metaphysics of Divinity: 5. Platonist assumptions; 6. Metaphysics of divinity, 1668-early 1671; Part IV. Metaphysics: 7. Matter, passivity, and panorganic vitalism 1670-71; 8. Phenomenalism and preestablished harmony, 1671; 9. Preestablished harmony, late 1671-early 1672; 10. Final steps toward the mature philosophy, 1672-79; Conclusion: the truth behind the First truths; Appendices; Bibliography; Index locorum; Index.
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Review quote

'Mercer's results are substantive and surprising ... it will be read and passionately debated for years to come.' Early Science and Medicine 'Mercer's ...arguments are well researched, her analysis of the early theological writings thorough and enlightening. For too long, Leibniz scholars have conveniently avoided the questions with which she is concerned. In taking up this challenge she is to be congratulated unreservedly. The importance of a book is often to be measured by the debate it provokes. That there will be intensive discussion of her arguments is something of which there can be no doubt.' Endeavour "...a closely argued interpretation of the early Leibniz that draws on a wide range of materials in and beyond the Leibnizian corpus. ...this work will lead to a substantial reconfiguring of our understanding of the early Leibniz." The Philosophical Review "...Mercer's book constitutes an impressive and outspoken piece of research which forcefully promotes and advances in the Anglo-American world a new way of approaching the history of philosophy." Journal of the History of Philosophy "This is a bold book, one that radically challenges the accepted views of Leibniz and his development: it will change how we understand his mature philosophy. Though it will be controversial, her position is one that must be reckoned with. Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development will not be ignored; it will be read and passionately debated for years to come." Daniel Garber, University of Chicago
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