A Brief Historiography of Leibniz Studies
That Leibniz himself regarded the Discourse on metaphysics as marking a decisive stage in the development of his philosophy is shown by his remark to Thomas Burnett in a letter of May 1697, that he was only satisfied with the philosophical ideas he had held from about 1685. Although many of the ideas had been germinating from his university days and are to be found in earlier works — for example, the subject-predicated logic in De arte combinatoria, the idea of harmony in the Confession of nature against atheists,the principle of sufficient reason in the letter to Wedderkopf, substantial forms in the letter to Thomasius and the idea of the best in a note written after his meeting with Spinoza — the Discourse on metaphysics is the first of Leibniz’s writings to bind them together in a coherent system.72
KeywordsPlastic Nature Cartesian Theory Corporeal Substance Phenomenalistic Account Scholastic Theology
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