The article is a critical notice of Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. Garber presents a developmental reading of Leibniz's metaphysics that focuses on Leibniz's evolving analysis of body and force as the key to his account of substance. Garber claims that Leibniz shifts from an early theory of body to a theory of corporeal substance in his middle years, and only develops a theory of monads in his later writings—and that even then Leibniz looks not to abandon the scheme of corporeal substances but to reconcile it with that of monads. The present article considers several challenges to Garber's interpretation, questioning, among other things, Garber's claims about development and Garber's account of Leibniz's primary arguments for the theory of monads. The article concludes that while crucial elements of the standard interpretation of Leibniz as an idealist can be defended against Garber's critique, the original traditional view that takes the theory of monads as the first and most fundamental principle of Leibniz's metaphysics is no longer sustainable.
Research Article| April 01 2011
Samuel Levey; On Two Theories of Substance in Leibniz: Critical Notice of Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. The Philosophical Review 1 April 2011; 120 (2): 285–320. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2010-030
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