Download Philosophical Essays by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz PDF

By Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Even supposing Leibniz's writing kinds an important corpus, no unmarried paintings stands as a cannonical expression of his complete philosophy. furthermore, the wide variety of Leibniz's paintings - letters, released papers, and fragments on numerous philosophical, non secular, mathematical, and medical questions over a fifty-year interval - heightens the problem of getting ready an version of his writings in English translation from the French and Latin.

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I 16. God's Extraordinary Concourse Is Included in That Which Our Essence Expresses, for This Expression Extends to Everything. But This Concourse Surpasses the Powers of Our Nature or of Our Distinct Expression, Which Is Finite and Follows Certain Subordinate Maxims. T NOW only remains to explain how God can sometimes influence men and other substances by an extraordinary and miraculous concourse, since it seems that nothing extraordinary and supernatural can happen to them, given that all their events are only consequences of their nature.

In fact, this rule is extremely plausible, and, in the past, I held it as indubitable. But I have since recognized what is wrong with it. It is that Descartes and many other able mathematicians have believed that the quantity of motion, that is, the speed multiplied by the size of the moving body, coincides exactly with the moving force, or, to speak geometrically, that the forces are proportional to the product of the speeds and [sizes of] bodies. Now, it is extremely reasonable that the same force is always conserved in the universe.

An accident, on the other hand, is a being whose notion does not include everything that can be attributed to the subject to which the notion is attributed:4 Thus, taken in abstraction from the subject, the quality of being a king which belongs to Alexander the Great is not determinate enough to constitute an individual and does not include the other qualities of the same subject, nor does it include everything that the notion of this prince includes. On the other hand, God, seeing Alexander's individual notion or haecceity," sees in it at the same time the basis and reason for all the predicates which can be said truly of him, for example, that he vanquished Darius and Porus; he even knows a priori (and not by experience) whether he died a natural death or whether he was poisoned, something we can know only through history.

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