Monads, Composition, and Force. Ariadnean Threads Through Leibniz's Labyrinth by Richard T. W. Arthur [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (4):761-762 (2019)
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To escape from the labyrinth of the continuum, Leibniz maintains, we must think very differently about the nature of space, time, bodies, and substances; and in particular we must posit an infinity of simple substances or monads. The main aim of this historically rich and interpretively provocative book is to explain why Leibniz says such things by examining his purported solution and how he arrived at it. Each of the book’s seven chapters focuses on a different “Ariadnean thread” that supposedly helped Leibniz find his way out of the labyrinth. They concern the themes of “composition, aggregation, atoms, forms, motion, substance, and continuation in existence” (6).

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Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University


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