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  1. Leibniz's Mill Argument Against Mechanical Materialism Revisited.Paul Lodge - 2014 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1.
    Section 17 of Leibniz’s Monadology contains a famous argument in which considerations of what it would be like to enter a machine that was as large as a mill are offered as reasons to reject materialism about the mental. In this paper, I provide a critical discussion of Leibniz’s mill argument, but, unlike most treatments, my discussion will focus on texts other than the Monadology in which considerations of the mill also appear. I provide a survey of three previous interpretations (...)
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  • Reflection, Intelligibility, and Leibniz’s Case Against Materialism.Julia Borcherding - 2018 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 21 (1):44-68.
    Leibniz’s claim that it is possible for us to gain metaphysical knowledge through reflection on the self has intrigued many commentators, but it has also often been criticized as flawed or unintelligible. A similar fate has beset Leibniz’s arguments against materialism. In this paper, I explore one of Leibniz’s lesser-known arguments against materialism from his reply to Bayle’s new note L, and argue that it provides us with an instance of a Leibnizian “argument from reflection”. This argument, I further show, (...)
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  • Materialism and the Activity of Matter in Seventeenth‐Century European Philosophy.Stewart Duncan - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):671-680.
    Early modern debates about the nature of matter interacted with debates about whether matter could think. In particular, some philosophers (e.g., Cudworth and Leibniz) objected to materialism about the human mind on the grounds that matter is passive, thinking things are active, and one cannot make an active thing out of passive material. This paper begins by looking at two seventeenth-century materialist views (Hobbes’s, and one suggested but not endorsed by Locke) before considering that objection (which I call here the (...)
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  • Materialism in Late Enlightenment Germany: A Neglected Tradition Reconsidered.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):940-962.
    ABSTRACTLate Enlightenment German materialism has hardly attracted any scholarly attention in the past, in spite of the fact that there were quite a few exponents of it. In this paper, I identify the philosophically most important ones and examine to what extent they were connected with each other. In fact, there are local concentrations of materialists at universities and academic circles in Göttingen, Halle, and Gießen. I then discuss the spectrum of materialist positions held by them, from empiricist naturalism in (...)
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  • Mills Can't Think: Leibniz's Approach to the Mind-Body Problem.Marleen Rozemond - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (1):1-28.
    In the Monadology Leibniz has us imagine a thinking machine the size of a mill in order to show that matter can’t think. The argument is often thought to rely on the unity of consciousness and the notion of simplicity. Leibniz himself did not see matters this way. For him the argument relies on the view that the qualities of a substance must be intimately connected to its nature by being modifications, limitations of its nature. Leibniz thinks perception is not (...)
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  • Thought, Color, and Intelligibility in the New Essays.Stephen Puryear - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer: Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, vol. 5. Georg Olms. pp. 49-57.
    I argue that Leibniz's rejection of the hypothesis of thinking matter on grounds of unintelligibility conflicts with his position on sensible qualities such as color. In the former case, he argues that thought must be a modification of something immaterial because we cannot explain thought in mechanical terms. In the latter case, however, he (rightly) grants that we cannot explain sensible qualities in mechanical terms, that is, cannot explain why a certain complex mechanical quality gives rise to the appearance of (...)
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  • The Zombie Attack, Perry’s Parry, and a Riposte: A Slight Softening of the “Hard Problem” of Consciousness.J. Ritchie - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):55-65.
    The “hard problem” of consciousness is a challenge for explanations of the nature of our phenomenal experiences. Chalmers has claimed that physicalist solutions to the challenge are ill-suited due, in part, to the zombie argument against physicalism. Perry has suggested that the zombie argument begs the question against the physicalist, and presents no relevant threat to the view. Although seldom discussed in the literature, I show there is defensive merit to Perry’s “parry” of the zombie attack. The success of the (...)
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  • Mechanism and Materialism in Early Modern German Philosophy.Paola Rumore - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):917-939.
    ABSTRACTThe paper focuses on the gradual separation between materialism and mechanism in early modern German philosophy. In Germany the distinction between the two concepts, originally introduced by Leibniz, was definitively stated by Wolff who was the first to provide a definition of the new philosophical term Materialismus, and of the related philosophical sect. In the first part I describe the initial identification of mechanism and materialism in German philosophy between the last decades of the seventeenth century and 1720. Mechanism is (...)
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  • Materialism in the Mainstream of Early German Philosophy.Corey Dyck - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):897-916.
    ABSTRACTDiscussions of the reception of materialist thought in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century tend to focus, naturally enough, upon the homegrown freethinkers who advanced the cause of Lucretius, Hobbes, and Spinoza in clandestine publications and frequently courted the ire of the state for doing so. If the philosophers belonging to the mainstream of German intellectual life in that period are accorded a place in the story, it is only insofar as they actively set themselves against the (...)
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  • Varieties of Early Modern Materialism.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):797-813.
    ABSTRACTThis paper discusses how early modern materialism can be defined and delineated, before turning to a brief survey of the main philosophical resources early modern materialist theories draw on. Subsequently, I discuss competing overall narratives concerning early modern materialism, and conclude with a defence of the controversial view that material soul theories belong to materialism proper.
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