Leibniz's Metaphysics : Its Origins and Development
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.
- Hardback | 544 pages
- 162 x 237 x 32mm | 811g
- 21 Aug 2009
- Cambridge University Press
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
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.
'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