Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 1, 2014

Ruling out Lucky Proofs

Tetsuya Shigenaga


According to Leibniz’s theory for contingent truths about created individuals, this kind of truth cannot be proved in a finite number of steps, because the analyses of the concepts corresponding to these individuals required for the proofs proceed to infinity. Some commentators pointed out that such truths can luckily be in a finite number of steps. But if they can, Leibniz cannot identify them as contingent ones because, for Leibniz, those truths that can be proved in a finite number of steps are necessary ones. This is the Problem of Lucky Proof. Recently, in this journal, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra and Paul Lodge argued for their new solution to that problem. First, I argue that their solution does not succeed in saving Leibniz from the problem. Secondly, I observe that Leibniz defined a proof a priori of a contingent truth as one from the reason(s) of such a truth, and suggest a shift of the focus of our discussions to this way of proving contingents truths. Thirdly, I propose my solution to the Problem of Lucky Proof relying on that observation.

Published Online: 2014-6-1
Published in Print: 2014-6-1

© De Gruyter