•  8
    Leibniz on Plurality, Dependence, and Unity
    Res Philosophica 95 (1): 69-94. 2017.
    Leibniz argues that Cartesian extension lacks the unity required to be a substance. A key premise of Leibniz’s argument is that matter is a collection or aggregation. I consider an objection to this premise raised by Leibniz’s correspondent Burchard de Volder and consider a variety of ways that Leibniz might be able to respond to De Volder’s objection. I argue that it is not easy for Leibniz to provide a dialectically relevant response and, further, that the difficulty arises from Leibniz’s comm…Read more
  •  23
    Leibniz on determinateness and possible worlds
    Philosophy Compass 13 (1). 2018.
    Leibniz argues that God doesn't create everything possible because not all possible things are compossible, that is, compatible with each other. Much recent debate has focused on Leibniz's conception of compossibility. One important aspect of this debate, which has not been examined directly, is the distinction between possible worlds and possible creations: the notion of possible world is more robust than simply whatever God can create. Many commentators have relied on this distinction without …Read more
  •  43
    Leibniz's World-Apart Doctrine
    In Yual Chiek & Gregory Brown (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds, Springer. pp. 37-63. 2016.
    Leibniz's World-Apart Doctrine states that every created substance is independent of everything except God. Commentators have connected the independence of substance asserted by World-Apart to a variety of important aspects of Leibniz's modal metaphysics, including his theory of compossibility and his notion of a possible world (including what possible worlds there are). But what sort of independence is at stake in World-Apart? I argue that there is not a single sense of "independence" at stake,…Read more
  •  41
    Mind and Body
    Oxford Handbook of Leibniz. 2015.
    This chapter discusses Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophical reflections on mind and body. It first considers Leibniz’s distinction between substance and aggregate, referring to the former as a being that must have true unity (what he calls unum per se) and to the latter as simply a collection of other beings. It then describes Leibniz’s extension of the term “substance” to monads and other things such as animals and living beings. It also examines Leibniz’s views about the union of mind and…Read more
  •  41
    Leibniz on Infinite Numbers, Infinite Wholes, and Composite Substances
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2): 236-259. 2014.
    Leibniz claims that nature is actually infinite but rejects infinite number. Are his mathematical commitments out of step with his metaphysical ones? It is widely accepted that Leibniz has a viable response to this problem: there can be infinitely many created substances, but no infinite number of them. But there is a second problem that has not been satisfactorily resolved. It has been suggested that Leibniz’s argument against the world soul relies on his rejection of infinite number, and, as s…Read more