Self and Substance in Leibniz
There is a close connection in Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s mind between the notions of self and substance. R. W. Meyer, in his classic 1948 text, Leibnitz and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution, writes that “the monad ... is nothing but a 1 représentation (in both senses of the French word) of Leibniz’s personality in metaphysical symbols; and there was, under contemporary circumstances, no need 2 to ‘introduce’ this concept apart from ‘propounding’ it. ” It is not clear what Meyer means here except that from the consideration of his own self, in some way Leibniz comes to his concept of simple substance, or monad. Herbert Carr, in an even earlier work, notes that Leibniz held that “the only real unities in nature are formal, not material. ... [and] [f]or a long time Leibniz was content to call the formal unities or substantial forms he was speaking about, souls. This had the advantage that it referred at once to the fact of experience which supplies the very 3 type of a substantial form, the self or ego. ” Finally, Nicholas Rescher, in his usual forthright manner, states that “[i]n all of Leibniz’s expositions of his philosophy, 4 the human person is the paradigm of a substance.
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Appendix B On Kants Paralogisms
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according to Leibniz actions actually animals answer appearances argue argument attributed aware believe body causal cause chapter claim clear complete concept concern condition connection consciousness consider consistent continuity Conway course created Descartes desire distinct distinguishes Edited essentially example exist fact future genuine gives Hence holds human idea immaterial immortality individual involves kind King of China knowledge least Leibniz live Locke Locke's logical matter meaningful means memory metaphysical mind monads moral agents morally responsible namely nature necessary notes Nouveaux essais object paralogism participate particular passage past perceptions personal identity philosophical possibility premise Press proposition psychological punishment question rational reason refers reflection relation remain remember require reward seems self-consciousness sense simple soul souvenir speaking spirits spontaneous substance substantial survival theory of personal things thinking machines thought true understand unity University Wilson writes