•  131
    A Tale of Two Thinkers, One Meeting, and Three Degrees of Infinity: Leibniz and Spinoza (1675–8)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5): 935-961. 2011.
    The article presents Leibniz's preoccupation (in 1675?6) with the difference between the notion of infinite number, which he regards as impossible, and that of the infinite being, which he regards as possible. I call this issue ?Leibniz's Problem? and examine Spinoza's solution to a similar problem that arises in the context of his philosophy. ?Spinoza's solution? is expounded in his letter on the infinite (Ep.12), which Leibniz read and annotated in April 1676. The gist of Spinoza's solution is…Read more
  •  65
    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
  •  60
    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
  •  44
    Leibniz on nested individuals
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (4). 2007.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  41
    Gene expression and the concept of the phenotype
    with Ayelet Shavit and Zohar Yakhini
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (1): 238-254. 2007.
    While the definition of the ‘genotype’ has undergone dramatic changes in the transition from classical to molecular genetics, the definition of the ‘phenotype’ has remained for a long time within the classical framework. In addition, while the notion of the genotype has received significant attention from philosophers of biology, the notion of the phenotype has not. Recent developments in the technology of measuring gene-expression levels have made it possible to conceive of phenotypic traits in…Read more
  •  40
    Reply to Stefano Di Bella
    The Leibniz Review 18 151-156. 2008.
  •  36
    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.
  •  35
    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
  •  25
    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
  •  24
    Pauline Phemister, Leibniz and the Natural World
    Chromatikon: Annales de la Philosophie En Procès / Yearbook of Philosophy in Process 2 255-260. 2006.
  •  24
    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
  •  17
    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
  •  17
    Leibniz lecteur de Spinoza. La genése d'une opposition complexe
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3): 521-524. 2010.
    No abstract
  •  12
    It Takes Two to Tango: Genotyping and Phenotyping in Genome-Wide Association Studies
    with Yaron Ramati, Ayelet Shavit, and Zohar Yakhini
    Biological Theory 4 (3): 294-301. 2009.
    In this article we examine the “phenotype” concept in light of recent technological advances in Genome-Wide Association Studies . By observing the technology and its presuppositions, we put forward the thesis that at least in this case genotype and phenotype are effectively coidentifled one by means of the other. We suggest that the coidentiflcation of genotype-phenotype couples in expression-based GWAS also indicates a conceptual dependence, which we call “co-deñnition.” We note that viewing th…Read more
  •  12
    Spinoza's Rethinking of Activity: From the Short Treatise to the Ethics
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (1): 101-126. 2018.
  •  12
  •  10
    Leibniz and Russell
    In P. Phemister & S. Brown (eds.), Leibniz and the English-Speaking World, Springer. pp. 207--218. 2007.
  •  9
    Leibniz by Richard T. W. Arthur (review)
    The Leibniz Review 24 123-130. 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
  •  7
    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
  •  7
    Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza: Reason, Religion, and Autonomy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1): 193-196. 2015.
  •  7
    Leibniz on Infinite Beings and Non-beings
    In Smith Justin & Fraenkel Carlos (eds.), The Rationalists, Springer/synthese. pp. 183--199. 2011.
  •  6
    Infinite and Limited
    The Leibniz Review 26 179-196. 2016.
    This paper develops some important observations from a recent article by Maria Rosa Antognazza published in The Leibniz Review 2015 under the title “The Hypercategorematic Infinite”, from which I take up the characterization of God, the most perfect Being, as infinite in a hypercategorematic sense, i.e., as a being beyond any determination. By contrast, creatures are determinate beings, and are thus limited and particular expressions of the divine essence. But since Leibniz takes both God and cr…Read more
  •  6
    The Leibniz–Stahl Controversy (review)
    The Leibniz Review 27 173-182. 2017.
  •  6
    Nicolas de Cues et G.W. Leibniz: Infini, Expression et Singularité (review)
    The Leibniz Review 22 167-173. 2012.
  •  6
    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
  •  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.