Leibniz's Alleged Ambivalence About Sensible Qualities

Studia Leibnitiana 44 (2):229-245 (2012)
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Leibniz has been accused of being ambivalent about the nature of sensible qualities such as color, heat, and sound. According to the critics, he unwittingly vacillates between the view that these qualities are really just complex mechanical qualities of bodies and the competing view that they are something like the perceptions or experiences that confusedly represent these mechanical qualities. Against this, I argue that the evidence for ascribing the first approach to Leibniz is rather strong, whereas the evidence for imputing the second approach to him is rather weak. The first, "mechanistic" approach should therefore be regarded as his considered view.
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