Machines of Nature and Corporeal Substances in Leibniz

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Justin E. H. Smith, Ohad Nachtomy
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 4, 2011 - Philosophy - 208 pages
In recent decades, there has been much scholarly controversy as to the basic ontological commitments of the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). The old picture of his thought as strictly idealistic, or committed to the ultimate reduction of bodies to the activity of mind, has come under attack, but Leibniz's precise conceptualization of bodies, and the role they play in his system as a whole, is still the subject of much controversy. One thing that has become clear is that in order to understand the nature of body in Leibniz, and the role body plays in his philosophy, it is crucial to pay attention to the related concepts of organism and of corporeal substance, the former being Leibniz's account of the structure of living bodies (which turn out, for him, to be the only sort of bodies there are), and the latter being an inheritance from the Aristotelian hylomorphic tradition which Leibniz appropriates for his own ends. This volume brings together papers from many of the leading scholars of Leibniz's thought, all of which deal with the cluster of questions surrounding Leibniz's philosophy of body.

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1 Introduction
2 Leibniz Versus Stahl on the Way Machines of Nature Operate
Where Teleology Meets Mechanism
4 Monads and Machines
Or What It Means to Remain a Machine to the Least of Its Parts
6 The Organic Versus the Living in the Light of Leibnizs Aristotelianisms
A Comparative Approach to Leibniz and His Contemporaries
8 Sennert and Leibniz on Animate Atoms
Some Remarks on the Status of Organism in the Substantial Composition
11 Action Perception Organisation
Leibnizs Teleological Approach to Perception
The Fundamental Principle of Ratiocination
Name Index
Subject Index

9 Continuity or Discontinuity Some Remarks on Leibnizs Concepts of Substantia Vivens and Organism

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About the author (2011)

Justin E. H. Smith is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He is the author of Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life (Princeton University Press, 2010). In 2011 he will be a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Ohad Nachtomy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University. He is the author of Possibility, Agency, and Individuality in Leibniz's Metaphysics (Springer, 2007).

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