This article discusses Leibniz’s claim that every substance is endowed with the property of perception in connection with Platonism, rationalism and the problem of substance monism. It is argued that Leibniz’s ascription of perception to every substance relies on his Platonic conception of finite things as imitations of God, in whom there is ‘infinite perception’. Leibniz’s Platonism, however, goes beyond the notion of imitation, including also the emanative causal relation and the logical (i.e. definitional) priority of the absolute over the limited. It is proposed that Leibniz’s endorsement of Platonism, in conjunction with some rationalist elements of his philosophy, implies a monistic conception of particulars as modifications of a single substance. Following some scholars and opposing others, the article offers evidence that Leibniz accepted this implication during the last years of his Paris period. However, it is further argued that it was precisely the idea of perception as a property of every substance that allowed Leibniz to find a way out of monism after that period. More specifically, the article defends the view that what made room for ontological pluralism within Leibniz’s rationalist and Platonic outlook was the idea that perception is the property which constitutes the very being of substances: substances are their perceptions.
Adams, R. M. 1994. Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. Oxford.
–. 2007. “The Priority of the Perfect in the Philosophical Theologies of the Continental Rationalists”. In Rationalism, Platonism, and God (Proceedings of the British Academy 149). Ed. M. Ayers. Oxford, 91–116.
Antognazza, M. R. 2007. “Comments on Adams”. In Rationalism, Platonism, and God (Proceedings of the British Academy 149). Ed. M. Ayers. Oxford, 117–31.
Antognazza, M. R. 2009. Leibniz. An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge.
–. 2015a. “Primary Matter, Primitive Passive Power, and Creaturely Limitation in Leibniz”. Studia Leibnitiana 46, 167–86.
–. 2015b. “The Hypercategorematic Infinite”. The Leibniz Review 25, 5–30.
Belaval, Y. 1995. Leibniz. De l’Âge classique aux Lumières. Paris.
Berti, E. 2001. “Multiplicity and Unity of Being in Aristotle”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, vol. CI, 185–208.
Blank, A. 2001. “Monism and Substance Pluralism in Leibniz’s Metaphysical Papers, 1675–76”. Studia Leibnitiana 33, 216–23.
Boss, G. 1990. “L’Histoire chez Leibniz et Spinoza”. Studia Spinozana 6, 179–200
Broad, C. D. 1975. Leibniz. An Introduction, Cambridge, 1975.
Brown, S. 1999. “The Proto-monadology of the De Summa Rerum”. In The Young Leibniz and his Philosophy, 1964–76. Ed. S. Brown. Dordrecht, 223–43.
–. 1984. Leibniz. Minneapolis.
Burgelin, P. 1959. Commentaire du Discours de Métaphysique de Leibniz. Paris.
Cover, J. A./O’Leary-Hawthorne, J. 1999. Substance and Individuation in Leibniz. Cambridge.
Di Bella, S. 2005. “Leibniz’s Theory of Conditions”. The Leibniz Review 15, 67–93.
Duarte, S. 2012. “Leibniz and Monadic Domination”. In Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy (Vol. VI). Ed. D. Garber/D. Rutherford. Oxford, 210–48.
Duncan, S. 2015. “Leibniz on the Expression of God”. Ergo 2, 83–103.
Freudenthal, G. 1927. Spinoza: Leben und Lehre. Ed. C. Gebhardt. Heidelberg.
Friedmann, G. 1962. Leibniz et Spinoza, Paris.
Fouke, D. 1994. “Emanation and the Perfections of Beings: Divine Causation and the Autonomy of Nature in Leibniz”. Archiv für Geschichte die Philosophie 76, 168–94.
Futch, M. 2008. Leibniz’s Metaphysics of Space and Time. Dordrecht.
Garrett, D. 1990. “Truth, Method, and Correspondence in Spinoza and Leibniz”. Studia Spinozana 6, 13–44.
Kulstad, M. 1994. “Did Leibniz Incline toward Monistic Pantheism in 1676?”. In Leibniz und Europa: VI. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Part I, pp. 424–428.
Kulstad, M. (1999): “Leibniz’s De Summa Rerum. The Origin of the Variety of Things in Connection with the Spinoza-Tschirnhaus Correspondence”. In L’Actualité de Leibniz: Les Deux Labyrinthes (Studia Leibnitiana Supplementa, 34). Ed. D. Berlioz/F. Nef. Stuttgart, 69–86.
–. 2005. “The One and the Many and Kinds of Distinctness: The Possibility of Monism or Pantheism in the Young Leibniz”. In Leibniz. Nature and Freedom. Ed. D. Rutherford/J. A. Cover. Oxford, 20–43.
Laerke, M. 2008. Leibniz Lecteur de Spinoza. La Genèse d’une Opposition Complexe. Paris.
–. 2010. “G. W. Leibniz’s Two Readings of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus”. In Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise: A Critical Guide. Ed. Y. Melamed/M. A. Rosenthal. Cambridge, 101–27.
–. 2018. “Leibniz’s Encounter with Spinoza’s Monism, October 1675 to February 1676”. In The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza. Ed. Michael Della Rocca. Oxford, 434–63.
Lodge, P. (ed.) 2004. Leibniz and his Correspondents. Cambridge.
Mercer, C. 1999. “Leibniz and Spinoza on Substance and Mode”. In The Rationalists. Ed. D. Pereboom. Lanham, MD, 273–300.
–. 2000. “God as Both the Unity and the Multiplicity in the World”. In Unità e Molteplicità nel Pensiero Filosofico e Scientifico di Leibniz. Ed. A. Lamarra/R. Palaia. Hannover, 71–95.
–. 2001. Leibniz’s Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development. Cambridge.
–. 2007. “Leibniz’s Platonism and Theory of Expression”. In Forms of Platonism: From the Heritage of Ficino to the Cambridge Platonism. Florence.
O’Neill, E. 1993. “Influxus Physicus”. In Causation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cartesianism, Occasionalism and Pre-established Harmony. Ed. S. Nadler. University Park, Pennsylvania, 27–56.
Parkinson, G. H. R. 1965. Logic and Reality in Leibniz’s Metaphysics. Oxford.
–. 1978. “Leibniz’s Paris Writings in relation to Spinoza”. Studia Leibnitiana Supplementa, 18, 73–89.
Rodriguez-Pereyra, G. 2014. Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles. Oxford.
Russell, B. 1937. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz (2nd ed.). London.
Rutherford, D. 1995. Leibniz’s and the Rational Order of Nature. Cambridge.
–. 2004. “Idealism declined: Leibniz and Christian Wolff”. In Leibniz and his Correspondents. Ed. P. Lodge. Cambridge, 214–37.
Schepers, H. 2008. “Leibniz’s Rationalism: A Plea Against Equating Soft and Strong Rationalism”. In Leibniz. What Kind of Rationalist. Ed. M. Dascal. Dordrecht,17–36.
Schrecker, P. 1951. “Leibniz and the Timaeus”. Review of Metaphysics 4, 459–505.
Stein, L. 1890. Leibniz und Spinoza, Berlin.
Swoyer, C. 1995. “Leibnizian Expression”. Journal of the History of Philosophy 33, 65–99.
Te Velde, R. A. 1995. Participation and Substantiality in Thomas Aquinas. New York.
Whipple, J. 2010. “Leibniz on Divine Concurrence”. Philosophy Compass 5, 865–79.
Wilson, C. 1989. Leibniz’s Metaphysics: A Comparative and Historical Study. Princeton.
–. 1999. “Atoms, Minds, and Vortices in De Summa Rerum: Leibniz vis-à-vis Hobbes and Spinoza”. In The Young Leibniz and his Philosophy, 1964–76. Ed. S. Brown. Dordrecht, 223–243.
The journal publishes exceptional articles in all areas of Western philosophy from antiquity up to contemporary philosophy. The Archiv articles are distinguished by precise argumentation and lucid prose. In addition to publishing articles and reviews, the journal occasionally features a discussion section where particularly controversial positions are debated.