Sämtliche schriften und briefe series VI volume 4
Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed)
pp 626, 867, 869 & 937
Date: #1 - mid-1685? #2 - summer 1687 - end 1696? #3 - August 1688 - January 1689?
Translated from the Latin
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MIND, BODY AND SOUL
FREE WILL AND NECESSITY
POLITICS, LAW AND ETHICS
LEIBNIZ: DEFINITIONS OF METAPHYSICAL AND LOGICAL NOTIONS
[A VI 4, p626]
Existence cannot be defined any more than can being or pure positive, so of course how can any clearer idea be presented to us; but it should be known that every possible would exist if it could, but because not every possible can exist, with some impeding others, those exist which are more perfect. And so that which is most perfect is certainly understood to exist. But there is some most perfect being, i.e. the most perfect being is possible, because it is nothing other than pure positive.
LEIBNIZ: DEFINITIONS: BEING, POSSIBLE, EXISTING
[A VI 4, p867]
Being possible limit.
Possible that which does not imply contradiction.
Existing compossible with the most perfect.
Compossible that which does not imply contradiction with another.
More perfect is that which has more of reality or of positive entity.
Necessary, the opposite of which is impossible.
Contingent is not necessary.
[A VI 4, p869]
Being is that which is distinctly thinkable.
Existing is that which is distinctly perceptible.
A chimera, or false being, is that which is thinkable, but not distinctly.
LEIBNIZ: DEFINITIONS: SOMETHING, NOTHING, OPPOSITE, POSSIBLE
[A VI 4, p937]
Something is that which can be thought.
Nothing is that which cannot be named, cannot be thought like Blitiri.
Opposites are where one thing is the contradiction of the other
Possible is whatever can be understood.
Impossible is that which cannot be understood, or that which implies contradiction, like a four-sided triangle.
Necessary is where the opposite of which is impossible.
Contingent is where the opposite of which is possible.
Primitive is that which is understood through itself.
Derivative is that which must be understood by resolution into other things, like fire is resolved into light and heat.
Prior by nature is that which is less derivative, and so that which enters into the concept of another thing is itself prior by nature.
© Lloyd Strickland 2003, 2007