Files in this item



application/pdf3130994.pdf (12MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Kantian Questions, Leibnizian Responses
Author(s):Olsen, Matthew John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Melnick, Arthur
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation is an examination of Immanuel Kant's criticisms of G. W. Leibniz's metaphysics and possible Leibnizian responses to those objections. Kant's central criticism of Leibniz's metaphysic is that it is based solely on intellectual, i.e., logical, principles and incorrectly dismisses the senses and sensible bodies as confusions. While Kant grants that Leibniz's system is internally coherent, he claims that Leibniz seriously misunderstood human cognition and incorrectly reduced sensible bodies to the monads that allegedly underlie them. My project is to show that although these are powerful and original objections, Leibniz did not sacrifice the material world for the monadic. It is argued that Leibniz had an ontology that allowed for the real existence of material bodies. Leibniz actually held that all monads have a material body and the sensible world is aggregated out of these bodies. The senses, while limited, provide us with useful, even essential, knowledge of the world. In addition to this broad ontological claim, specific Kantian criticisms of Leibniz's views on space and time, the identity of indiscernibles, and the pre-established harmony are also addressed. In each case, it is argued that while Kant's objections have merit and appropriately challenge Leibniz on the relation of the monadic and the material, Leibniz often has the resources to deal with the objection, and in a way that is much less fantastic than Kant thinks. Ultimately, it is maintained that while Leibniz did assume that the universe was rational and largely explainable through intellectual means, he was also very concerned with accounting for our world of everyday experience.
Issue Date:2004
Description:189 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3130994
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2004

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics