Leibnizian Bodies: Phenomena, Aggregates of Monads, or Both?

The Leibniz Review 26:99-127 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
I propose a straightforward reconciliation of Leibniz’s conception of bodies as aggregates of simple substances (i.e., monads) with his doctrine that bodies are the phenomena of perceivers, without in the process saddling him with any equivocations. The reconciliation relies on the familiar idea that in Leibniz’s idiolect, an aggregate of Fs is that which immediately presupposes those Fs, or in other words, has those Fs as immediate requisites. But I take this idea in a new direction. Taking notice of the fact that Leibniz speaks of three respects in which one thing may immediately presuppose others--i.e., with respect to its being, its existence, and its reality--I argue that a phenomenon having its being in one perceiving substance (monad) can plausibly be understood to presuppose other perceiving substances (monads) in two of these respects. Accordingly, good sense can be made of both the claim that a phenomenon in one monad is an aggregate of other monads (in Leibniz’s technical sense of 'aggregate') and the (equivalent) claim that the latter monads are constituents of the phenomenon (in his technical sense of 'constituent'). So understood, the two conceptions of body are perfectly compatible, just as Leibniz seems to think.
Reprint years
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
First archival date: 2016-11-21
Latest version: 3 (2016-11-30)
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
375 ( #18,589 of 65,695 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #26,401 of 65,695 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.