
LeibnizWiley. 2014.Few philosophers have left a legacy like that of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He has been credited not only with inventing the differential calculus, but also with anticipating the basic ideas of modern logic, information science, and fractal geometry. He made important contributions to such diverse fields as jurisprudence, geology and etymology, while sketching designs for calculating machines, wind pumps, and submarines. But the common presentation of his philosophy as a kind of unworldly ideali…Read more

LeibnizWiley. 2014.Few philosophers have left a legacy like that of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He has been credited not only with inventing the differential calculus, but also with anticipating the basic ideas of modern logic, information science, and fractal geometry. He made important contributions to such diverse fields as jurisprudence, geology and etymology, while sketching designs for calculating machines, wind pumps, and submarines. But the common presentation of his philosophy as a kind of unworldly ideali…Read more

LeibnizWiley. 2014.Few philosophers have left a legacy like that of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He has been credited not only with inventing the differential calculus, but also with anticipating the basic ideas of modern logic, information science, and fractal geometry. He made important contributions to such diverse fields as jurisprudence, geology and etymology, while sketching designs for calculating machines, wind pumps, and submarines. But the common presentation of his philosophy as a kind of unworldly ideali…Read more

LeibnizWiley. 2014.Few philosophers have left a legacy like that of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. He has been credited not only with inventing the differential calculus, but also with anticipating the basic ideas of modern logic, information science, and fractal geometry. He made important contributions to such diverse fields as jurisprudence, geology and etymology, while sketching designs for calculating machines, wind pumps, and submarines. But the common presentation of his philosophy as a kind of unworldly ideali…Read more

Richard Arthur’s Natural Deduction provides a wideranging introduction to logic. In lively and readable prose, Arthur presents a new approach to the study of logic, one that seeks to integrate methods of argument analysis developed in modern “informal logic” with natural deduction techniques. The dry bones of logic are given flesh by unusual attention to the history of the subject, from Pythagoras, the Stoics, and Indian Buddhist logic, through Lewis Carroll, Venn, and Boole, to Russell, Frege,…Read more

10One of the most puzzling features of Leibniz’s deep metaphysics is the apparent contradiction between his claims that the law of continuity holds everywhere, so that in particular, change is continuous in every monad, and that “changes are not really continuous,” since successive states contradict one another. In this paper I try to show in what sense these claims can be understood as compatible. My analysis depends crucially on Leibniz’s idea that enduring states are “vague,” and abstract away …Read more

17Leibniz’s syncategorematic infinitesimals II: their existence, their use and their role in the justification of the differential calculusArchive for History of Exact Sciences 74 (5): 401443. 2020.In this paper, we endeavour to give a historically accurate presentation of how Leibniz understood his infinitesimals, and how he justified their use. Some authors claim that when Leibniz called them “fictions” in response to the criticisms of the calculus by Rolle and others at the turn of the century, he had in mind a different meaning of “fiction” than in his earlier work, involving a commitment to their existence as nonArchimedean elements of the continuum. Against this, we show that by 167…Read more

Leibniz’s Syncategorematic Actual InfiniteIn Igor Agostini, Richard T. W. Arthur, Geoffrey Gorham, Paul Guyer, Mogens Lærke, Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Ohad Nachtomy, Sanja Särman, Anat Schechtman, Noa Shein & Reed Winegar (eds.), Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy, Springer Verlag. pp. 155179. 2018.It is well known that Leibniz advocated the actual infinite, but that he did not admit infinite collections or infinite numbers. But his assimilation of this account to the scholastic notion of the syncategorematic infinite has given rise to controversy. A common interpretation is that in mathematics Leibniz’s syncategorematic infinite is identical with the Aristotelian potential infinite, so that it applies only to ideal entities, and is therefore distinct from the actual infinite that applies …Read more

1Mario Bunge on Causality: Some Key Insights and Their Leibnizian PrecedentsIn Mario Augusto Bunge, Michael R. Matthews, Guillermo M. Denegri, Eduardo L. Ortiz, Heinz W. Droste, Alberto Cordero, Pierre Deleporte, María Manzano, Manuel Crescencio Moreno, Dominique Raynaud, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe, Nicholas Rescher, Richard T. W. Arthur, Rögnvaldur D. Ingthorsson, Evandro Agazzi, Ingvar Johansson, Joseph Agassi, Nimrod BarAm, Alberto Cupani, Gustavo E. Romero, Andrés Rivadulla, Art Hobson, Olival Freire Junior, Peter Slezak, Ignacio MorgadoBernal, Marta Crivos, Leonardo Ivarola, Andreas Pickel, Russell Blackford, Michael Kary, A. Z. Obiedat, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Luis Marone, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Francisco Yannarella, Mauro A. E. Chaparro, José Geiser Villavicencio Pulido, Martín Orensanz, JeanPierre Marquis, Reinhard Kahle, Ibrahim A. Halloun, José María Gil, Omar Ahmad, Byron Kaldis, Marc Silberstein, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe & VillavicencioPulid (eds.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift, Springer Verlag. pp. 185204. 2019.Mario Bunge wrote his classic Causality and Modern Science more than 60 years ago, and a third revised edition was published by Dover in 1979. With its impressive scope and historical perspective it was a long way ahead of its time. But many of its insights still have not been sufficiently appreciated by physicists and philosophers alike. These include Bunge’s distinction between causation and other types of determination, his critique of the stilldominant Humean accounts of causality as leavin…Read more

198On thought experiments as a priori scienceInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (3). 1999.Against Norton's claim that all thought experiments can be reduced to explicit arguments, I defend Brown's position that certain thought experiments yield a priori knowledge. They do this, I argue, not by allowing us to perceive “Platonic universals” (Brown), even though they may contain nonpropositional components that are epistemically indispensable, but by helping to identify certain tacit presuppositions or “natural interpretations” (Feyerabend's term) that lead to a contradiction when the …Read more

99Leibniz’s Body Realism: Two InterpretationsThe Leibniz Review 16 142. 2006.In this paper we argue for the robustness of Leibniz's commitment to the reality (but not substantiality) of body. We claim that a number of his most important metaphysical doctrines — among them, psychophysical parallelism, the harmony between efficient and final causes, the connection of all things, and the argument for the plurality of substances stemming from his solution to the continuum problem— make no sense if he is interpreted as giving an eliminative reduction of bodies to perceptions.

112Beeckman, Descartes and the force of motionJournal of the History of Philosophy 45 (1): 128. 2007.In this reassessment of Descartes' debt to his mentor Isaac Beeckman, I argue that they share the same basic conception of motion: the force of a body's motion—understood as the force of persisting in that motion, shorn of any connotations of internal cause—is conserved through God's direct action, is proportional to the speed and magnitude of the body, and is gained or lost only through collisions. I contend that this constitutes a fully coherent ontology of motion, original with Beeckman and c…Read more

31Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift (edited book)Springer Verlag. 2019.This volume has 41 chapters written to honor the 100th birthday of Mario Bunge. It celebrates the work of this influential Argentine/Canadian physicist and philosopher. Contributions show the value of Bunge’s scienceinformed philosophy and his systematic approach to philosophical problems. The chapters explore the exceptionally wide spectrum of Bunge’s contributions to: metaphysics, methodology and philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of psychology…Read more

1Leibniz’s syncategorematic infinitesimalsArchive for History of Exact Sciences 67 (5): 553593. 2013.In contrast with some recent theories of infinitesimals as nonArchimedean entities, Leibniz’s mature interpretation was fully in accord with the Archimedean Axiom: infinitesimals are fictions, whose treatment as entities incomparably smaller than finite quantities is justifiable wholly in terms of variable finite quantities that can be taken as small as desired, i.e. syncategorematically. In this paper I explain this syncategorematic interpretation, and how Leibniz used it to justify the calcul…Read more

8Infinity in Early Modern Philosophy (edited book)Springer Verlag. 2018.This volume contains essays that examine infinity in early modern philosophy. The essays not only consider the ways that key figures viewed the concept. They also detail how these different beliefs about infinity influenced major philosophical systems throughout the era. These domains include mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, science, and theology. Coverage begins with an introduction that outlines the overall importance of infinity to early modern philosophy. It then moves from a …Read more

9The Reality of Time Flow: Local Becoming in Modern PhysicsSpringer Verlag. 2019.It is commonly held that there is no place for the 'now’ in physics, and also that the passing of time is something subjective, having to do with the way reality is experienced but not with the way reality is. Indeed, the majority of modern theoretical physicists and philosophers of physics contend that the passing of time is incompatible with modern physical theory, and excluded in a fundamental description of physical reality. This book provides a forceful rebuttal of such claims. In successiv…Read more

16G. W. Leibniz: De Summa Rerum: Metaphysical Papers, 16756 (review)The Leibniz Review 3 1416. 1993.Despite his fame as a philosopher, Leibniz was a diplomat by profession, and seldom managed to engage in sustained philosophical activity for any length of time. One exception to this, though, is the period towards the end of his stay in Paris and a little afterwards, when he launched a concerted attack on most of the profoundest problems in metaphysics, tackling them with a penetration and persistence that is remarkable by any standards. The resulting series of “meditations”, to use his own des…Read more

1In lively and readable prose, Arthur presents a new approach to the study of logic, one that seeks to integrate methods of argument analysis developed in modern “informal logic” with natural deduction techniques. The dry bones of logic are given flesh by unusual attention to the history of the subject, from Pythagoras, the Stoics, and Indian Buddhist logic, through Lewis Carroll, Venn, and Boole, to Russell, Frege, and Monty Python. A previous edition of this book appeared under the title _Natur…Read more

2In lively and readable prose, Arthur presents a new approach to the study of logic, one that seeks to integrate methods of argument analysis developed in modern “informal logic” with natural deduction techniques. The dry bones of logic are given flesh by unusual attention to the history of the subject, from Pythagoras, the Stoics, and Indian Buddhist logic, through Lewis Carroll, Venn, and Boole, to Russell, Frege, and Monty Python. A previous edition of this book appeared under the title _Natur…Read more

25The Hegelian Roots of Russell's Critique of LeibnizThe Leibniz Review 28 942. 2018.At the turn of the century Bertrand Russell advocated an absolutist theory of space and time, and scornfully rejected Leibniz’s relational theory in his Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. But by the time of the second edition, he had proposed highly influential relational theories of space and time that had much in common with Leibniz’s own views. Ironically, he never acknowledges this. In trying to get to the bottom of this enigma, I looked further at contemporary texts by Russel…Read more

26On the NonIdealist LeibnizThe Leibniz Review 28 97101. 2018.This is a reply to Samuel Levey's fine review of my Monads, Composition and Force (Oxford UP, 2018) in the same issue of the Leibniz Review. In it I take up various difficulties raised by Levey that may be thought to collapse Leibniz's position into idealism after all, and attempt to provide convincing responses to them.

Foils for Newton: Comments on Howard SteinIn Phillip Bricker & R. I. G. Hughes (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Newtonian Science, Mit Press. pp. 4956. 1990.

3The Labyrinth of the Continuum: Writings on the Continuum Problem, 16721686 (edited book)Yale University Press. 2001.This book gathers together for the first time an important body of texts written between 1672 and 1686 by the great German philosopher and polymath Gottfried Leibniz. These writings, most of them previously untranslated, represent Leibniz’s sustained attempt on a problem whose solution was crucial to the development of his thought, that of the composition of the continuum. The volume begins with excerpts from Leibniz’s Paris writings, in which he tackles such problems as whether the infinite div…Read more

94Book Review:Quantum Mechanics, a Half Century Later J.L. Lopes, M. Paty (review)Philosophy of Science 48 (1): 156. 1981.