Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad

Paperback | August 1, 2011

byDaniel Garber

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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 anysensible 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 monadologicalmetaphysics 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 theyenter, 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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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 anysensible person think that the world is mad...

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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.05 inPublished:August 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199693099

ISBN - 13:9780199693092

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. First Thoughts2. Reforming Mechanism: Unity3. 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 Connection6. Divine Wisdom and Final Causes7. Leibnizian Phenomenalisms8. Enchanting the World: "...after many corrections and forward steps in my thinking"9. Monads, Bodies and Corporeal Substances: The EndgameEpilogueBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Review from previous edition Garber has delivered an unusually rich and subtle reading of Leibniz ... his meticulous story of the development of Leibniz's thought about substance and body from his early years up through the middle years, and in particular his insightful description of theways in which considerations of unity, persistence, and activity led Leibniz to realize that substantial forms have something to contribute to physics, is by far the best account we have of this subject ... an immensely valuable contribution to the literature. Its combination of first-ratescholarship and provocative interpretive theses will make it essential reading for specialists working on Leibniz's metaphysics. It would be a shame, however, if it were read only by specialists. For the story it tells is an engaging one." --Stephen Puryear, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews