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Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume VI$
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Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.001.0001

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Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach

Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach

(p.135) 5 Motion in Leibniz’s Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume VI

Stephen Puryear

Oxford University Press

This chapter concerns two apparently incompatible strands in Leibniz's thought about motion during his ‘middle years’ (roughly the 1680s and 1690s). After presenting the textual evidence for these strands and casting doubt on one recent proposal for reconciling them, it is argued that Leibniz did indeed have a single consistent theory of motion during his middle years. The key to seeing this is to appreciate three nuances in his account that have tended to go unnoticed. The chapter concludes by considering whether the view of motion being imputed to Leibniz during his middle years should be viewed as a kind of realism or, in anticipation of his later philosophy, a kind of phenomenalism or idealism.

Keywords:   G.W. Leibniz, motion, middle years, realism, phenomenalism, idealism

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