Leibniz on Concepts and Their Relation to the Senses (Leibniz über Begriffe und ihr Verhältnis zu den Sinnen)

In Dominik Perler & Markus Wild (eds.), Sehen und Begreifen. Wahrnehmungstheorien in der Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin, Deutschland: de Gruyter. pp. 235-264 (2008)
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Despite holding that all concepts are strictly speaking innate, Leibniz attempts to accommodate the common belief that at least some concepts are adventitious by appealing to his theory of ideal action. The essential idea is that an innate concept can be considered adventitious, in a sense, just in case its ideal cause is to be found outside the mind of the one who possesses the concept. I explore this attempt at accommodation and argue that it fails. [See external link for English draft.]

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Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University


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