Source:

Opera Philosophica
J. E. Erdman (ed)
p 112



Date: 18 June 1691

Translated from the French

Note - the portion of this text that is included in my Shorter Leibniz Texts is not included here.


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METAPHYSICS
MIND, BODY AND SOUL
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LEIBNIZ: WHETHER THE ESSENCE OF BODY CONSISTS IN EXTENSION


[E p112]

     You ask me, Sir, for the reasons I have for believing that the idea of body or matter is different from that of extension. It is true, as you say, that many able people are today accused of this opinion, that the essence of body consists in length, breadth and depth. However there are still some who cannot be accused of having too much attachment to Scholasticism, but who are not content with this opinion either.
     Mr Nicole, in a passage of his Essays, shows himself to be one of those, and it seems to him that there is more prejudice than light in those who do not appear frightened of the difficulties which occur there.
     It would need a very ample discourse in order to explain very distinctly what I think about that. Nevertheless here are some considerations that I submit to your judgement, and I hope that you will share your views with me.

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© Lloyd Strickland 2005
With thanks to Geert de Wilde