•  25
    Lawful Fecundity and Incompossibility
    The Leibniz Review 26 129-149. 2016.
    Relying on an analogy Leibniz makes in On The Ultimate Origin of Things between God’s creation of substances and a tiling board game, Jeffrey McDonough argues that the challenge of the problem of incompossibility is finding the optimal balance of net-goodness and plenitude given certain existential constraints that God must respect. For McDonough the ordering that optimizes the greatest number of substances is the best of all possible worlds. In this paper I argue that McDonough’s solution canno…Read more
  •  16
    Philosophical Dissertations on Mind and Body by Anton Wilhelm Amo
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (4): 686-688. 2021.
    Replete with insightful historical commentary on the life of Ghanaian-German Enlightenment philosopher Anton Wilhelm Amo, this fascinating volume by Stephen Menn and Justin Smith offers a detailed study of two of Amo's most important works. In addition, the book offers a careful study of both the intellectual and political context in which Amo wrote and the reception of his work in the centuries following. The book is divided into four parts. The first part houses a substantial introduction, whi…Read more
  •  8
    This volume brings together a number of original articles by leading Leibniz scholars to address the meaning and significance of Leibniz’s notions of compossibility and possible worlds. In order to avoid the conclusion that everything that exists is necessary, or that all possibles are actual, as Spinoza held, Leibniz argued that not all possible substances are compossible, that is, capable of coexisting. In Leibniz’s view, the compossibility relation divides all possible substances into disjoin…Read more
  •  1
    Leibniz on the Contingency of the Laws of Motion
    The Leibniz Review 33 7-50. 2023.
    In a few key texts Leibniz points to his dynamics project as the origin of contingency in his system. He did not, however, leave us with an explicit account of how the distinction between necessary and contingent truths either arises from, or is explained by his dynamics. This has left an explanatory gap in our understanding of the connection between Leibniz’s physics and his modal metaphysics that scholars have sought to close by arguing that the laws of nature obtain their contingent status by…Read more