Evil as Privation and Leibniz's Rejection of Empty Space

In Wenchao Li (ed.), Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer: Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, vol. 3. Georg Olms. pp. 481-489 (2016)
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Abstract
I argue that Leibniz's treatment of void or empty space in the appendix to his fourth letter to Clarke conflicts with the way he elsewhere treats (metaphysical) evil, insofar as he allows that God has created a world with the one kind of privation (evil), while insisting that God would not have created a world with the other kind of privation (void). I consider three respects in which the moral case might be thought to differ relevantly from the physical one, and argue that none of them succeed in removing the inconsistency. Rather than denying the existence of void, Leibniz should have been led by his treatment of evil to realize that the arguments he deploys in this appendix are dubious, and that the principles to which he appeals do not rule out empty space any more than they rule out evil, darkness, cold, or any other privations.
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Archival date: 2016-08-04
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