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LeibnizProtestant Theologian$
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Irena Backus

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199891849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199891849.001.0001

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(p.96) 4 Necessity

Irena Backus

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 deals with necessity as the philosophical counterpart to the doctrine of predestination. It discusses Leibniz’s disagreements on free will and necessity, especially with Hobbes, Locke, Newton and Clarke. All these thinkers shared a preoccupation with freedom and necessity that led to a set of very different positions, none of which Leibniz agreed with. The following aspects of Leibniz’s thought made him original: first, his concept of hypothetical necessity which only made sense if understood in the context of his doctrine of possible worlds; second, his principle of sufficient reason which accounted for the actualization of this particular world; and, finally, the nature of the link Leibniz established between the theological concept of predestination and the philosophical concept of freedom and necessity with his particular concept of hypothetical necessity or pre-inclination playing a crucial role in both Leibniz’s doctrine of predestination and his definition of philosophical necessity.

Keywords:   Hobbes, Newton, Locke, Clarke, hypothetical necessity

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