• This work presents Leibniz's view of infinity and the central role it plays in his theory of living beings. Nachtomy argues that Leibniz employs three degrees of infinity: absolute infinity, which applies to God; maximum or infinite in kind, which applies to created, living beings; and mathematical infinity.
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    The Leibniz–Stahl Controversy (review)
    The Leibniz Review 27 173-182. 2017.
  • Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy (edited book)
    with Reed Winegar
    Springer. forthcoming.
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    Spinoza's Rethinking of Activity: From the Short Treatise to the Ethics
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (1): 101-126. 2018.
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    The Life Sciences in Early Modern Philosophy (edited book)
    with Justin E. H. Smith
    Oup Usa. 2014.
    This volume explores the intersection between early modern philosophy and the life sciences by presenting the contributions of important but often neglected figures such as Cudworth, Grew, Glisson, Hieronymus Fabricius, Stahl, Gallego, Hartsoeker, and More, as well as familiar figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Malebranche, and Kant
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    Reply to Stefano Di Bella
    The Leibniz Review 18 151-156. 2008.
  • La communication qui suit porte sur le concept de relation tel que le définit Leibniz dans sa correspondance avec Arnauld. La première partie présente trois des présupposés impliqués dans ce concept, à savoir 1) qu'il y a des relations entre des individus possibles, 2) que ces relations sont nécessaires à la notion de mondes possibles et 3) qu'elles sont également nécessaires pour compléter l'individuation des individus possibles. Dans la deuxième partie, on verra que le premier présupposé sembl…Read more
  •  4
    Real Alternatives, Leibniz’s Metaphysics of Choice (review)
    The Leibniz Review 12 89-97. 2002.
    Acouple of years ago I gave a talk on Leibniz’s approach to human freedom. I tried to apply some current philosophical distinctions in order to resolve the tension between Leibniz’s doctrine of complete concept, which entails every truth about an individual, and Leibniz’s insistence that such an individual—whose identity and individuality are defined by its complete concept—acts freely.
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    Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza: Reason, Religion, and Autonomy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1): 193-196. 2015.
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    Real Alternatives
    The Leibniz Review 12 89-97. 2002.
    Acouple of years ago I gave a talk on Leibniz’s approach to human freedom. I tried to apply some current philosophical distinctions in order to resolve the tension between Leibniz’s doctrine of complete concept, which entails every truth about an individual, and Leibniz’s insistence that such an individual—whose identity and individuality are defined by its complete concept—acts freely.
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    On Oneness and Substance in Leibniz’s Middle Years
    with Tamar Levanon
    The Leibniz Review 24 69-91. 2014.
    We argue in this paper that Leibniz’s characterization of a substance as “un être” in his correspondence with Arnauld stresses the per se unity of substance rather than oneness in number. We employ two central lines of reasoning. The first is a response to Mogens Lærke’s claim that one can mark the difference between Spinoza and Leibniz by observing that, while Spinoza’s notion of substance is essentially non-numerical, Leibniz’s view of substance is numerical. We argue that Leibniz, like Spinoz…Read more
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    Pauline Phemister, Leibniz and the Natural World
    Chromatikon: Annales de la Philosophie En Procès / Yearbook of Philosophy in Process 2 255-260. 2006.
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    Nicolas de Cues et G.W. Leibniz: Infini, Expression et Singularité (review)
    The Leibniz Review 22 167-173. 2012.
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    Monads at the bottom, monads at the top, monads all over
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (1): 197-207. 2018.
    This paper examines a widely accepted reading of monads as the most fundamental elements of reality. Garber [Leibniz – Body, Substance, Monad, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009] argues that simple monads – seen as mind-like atoms without parts and extension – replace the corporeal substance of Leibniz’s middle period. Phemister [Leibniz and the Natural World – Activity, Passivity and Corporeal Substances in Leibniz’s Philosophy, Dordrecht: Springer, 2005] argues that monads figure also at th…Read more
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    Leibniz on Possible Individuals
    Studia Leibnitiana 34 (1). 2002.
    Während Leibniz' Vorstellung eines vollständigen Begriffs viel Beachtung fand, blieb die Frage seiner Begründung im Verstand Gottes eher unbeachtet. In diesem Aufsatz versuche ich auf diese Frage einzugehen, indem ich den Zeitraum (ungefähr 1672-1679), in dem Leibniz die Vorstellung eines vollständigen Begriffs als eine explizite Definition eines Individuums entwickelte, näher untersuche. Meine Darstellung über die Begründung des individuellen Begriffs im Verstand Gottes beinhaltet drei Thesen: …Read more
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    Leibniz on the Greatest Number and the Greatest Being
    The Leibniz Review 15 49-66. 2005.
    In notes from 1675-76 Leibniz is using the notion of an infinite number as an illustration of an impossible notion. In the same notes, he is also using this notion in contrast to the possibility of the ‘Ens perfectissumum’ (A.6.3 572; Pk 91; A.6.3 325). I suggest that Leibniz’s concern about the possibility of the notion of ‘the greatest or the most perfect being’ is partly motivated by his observation that similar notions, such as ‘the greatest number’, are impossible. This leads to the questio…Read more
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    Leibniz on nested individuals
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (4). 2007.
    This Article does not have an abstract
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    Leibniz et l’individualité organique by Jeanne Roland
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2): 378-379. 2014.
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    Leibniz lecteur de Spinoza. La genése d'une opposition complexe
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3): 521-524. 2010.
    No abstract
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    Leibniz on Infinite Beings and Non-beings
    In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists, Springer/synthese. pp. 183--199. 2011.
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    Leibniz, Calvino, Possible Worlds and Possible Cities, Philosophy and Fiction
    Journal of Early Modern Studies 5 (2): 53-79. 2016.
    Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities presents a wide array of possible cities—cities whose composition turns on a productive ambiguity of their being described or invented by Marco Polo in his conversations with Kublai Khan. Implicit in this book is also a theory about how all possible cities are composed. The method turns on decomposing a city down to its basic elements and recomposing it in different ways through the imagination. I argue that there is a close affinity between Calvino’s theory of f…Read more
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    Leibniz and Kant on Possibility and Existence
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5): 953-972. 2012.
    This paper examines the Leibnizian background to Kant's critique of the ontological argument. I present Kant's claim that existence is not a real predicate, already formulated in his pre-critical essay of 1673, as a generalization of Leibniz's reasoning regarding the existence of created things. The first section studies Leibniz's equivocations on the notion of existence and shows that he employs two distinct notions of existence ? one for God and another for created substances. The second secti…Read more
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    In her stimulating article, Catherine Wilson considers the moment of worlds-making in Leibniz’s philosophy. She raises the following question: “How do possible substances give rise to possible worlds?“ and observes that the moment of world-making is as puzzling as it is interesting. In section 2 of her article, Wilson considers two approaches to the question. According to the first, possible individuals logically precede possible worlds and possible worlds are constituted either by combinations …Read more
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    Leibniz and Russell
    In P. Phemister & S. Brown (eds.), Leibniz and the English-Speaking World, Springer. pp. 207--218. 2007.
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    In her stimulating article, Catherine Wilson considers the moment of worlds-making in Leibniz’s philosophy. She raises the following question: “How do possible substances give rise to possible worlds?“ and observes that the moment of world-making is as puzzling as it is interesting. In section 2 of her article, Wilson considers two approaches to the question. According to the first, possible individuals logically precede possible worlds and possible worlds are constituted either by combinations …Read more