The Principles of Contradiction, Sufficient Reason, and Identity of Indiscernibles

In Maria Rosa Antognazza (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Leibniz. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Leibniz was a philosopher of principles: the principles of Contradiction, of Sufficient Reason, of Identity of Indiscernibles, of Plenitude, of the Best, and of Continuity are among the most famous Leibnizian principles. In this article I shall focus on the first three principles; I shall discuss various formulations of the principles (sect. 1), what it means for these theses to have the status of principles or axioms in Leibniz’s philosophy (sect. 2), the fundamental character of the Principles of Contradiction and Sufficient Reason (sect. 3), some attempts to demonstrate the Principles of Contradiction and Sufficient Reason (sect. 4), and one attempt to demonstrate the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (sect. 5). The main results of the chapter are summarized in a short conclusion (sect. 6).

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