Kant and Leibniz on the Singularity of the Best of All Possible Worlds

In Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Laudio La Rocca & Margit Ruffin (eds.), Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. Akten des XI. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 381-390 (2013)
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In his early lecture note Versuch einiger Betrachtungen über den Optimismus (1759) a young supporter of metaphysical optimism called Immanuel Kant tested the Leibnizian optimism by posing some counter-arguments against it only to falsify them. His counter-arguments were very inventive and they feature often in modern scholarship on Leibniz. In this paper I will present Kant’s main arguments and evaluate them. I will argue that Kant’s understanding on Leibnizian optimism is little misguided and for this reason his own positive counter-argument despite its ingeniousness is problematic. His second solution to the problem is comparable to the doctrine of metaphysical optimism, but fails also for the same reason as the first one. -/- .

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Markku Roinila
University of Helsinki


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