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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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Leibniz Versus Stahl on the Way Machines of Nature Operate
10
Where Teleology Meets Mechanism
29
4 Monads and Machines
39
Or What It Means to Remain a Machine to the Least of Its Parts
61
6 The Organic Versus the Living in the Light of Leibnizs Aristotelianisms
81
A Comparative Approach to Leibniz and His Contemporaries
95
8 Sennert and Leibniz on Animate Atoms
115
Some Remarks on the Status of Organism in the Substantial Composition
144
11 Action Perception Organisation
157
Leibnizs Teleological Approach to Perception
175
PRINCIPIUM RATIOCINANDI FUNDAMENTALE
187
The Fundamental Principle of Ratiocination
195
Name Index
201
Subject Index
203
Copyright

9 Continuity or Discontinuity Some Remarks on Leibnizs Concepts of Substantia Vivens and Organism
131

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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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