Source:

Manuscript held by G. W. Leibniz Bibliothek, Hanover
Shelfmark LH 4, 1, 4k Bl. 39



Date: 1710 - 1714 (?)

Translated from the French



View this translation in PDF format (156k)

Back to home page


Search texts by keyword(s):

(For search strings, just type the words; don't use quotation marks)

LEIBNIZ: SOME REMARKS ON MY SYSTEM


[LH 4, 1, 4k Bl. 39]

     Nothing can be concealed in my system, because everything in it has a perfect connection.
     We have to have very accurate and very precise distinctions; for example, we must distinguish between the infinite1 and the whole; the whole is opposed to nothing and the infinite is opposed to the finite. We must also distinguish between a substance and an aggregate of substances, inter substantiam and substantias.1
     The distinctions made by Scholastics are not always to be despised; for example, the one they make between the true one, unum per se,1 and the aggregative one.
     My remarks on Mr Gassendi, Father Malebranche, Mr Descartes, Spinoza, and Mr Locke serve to prepare minds.
     I cannot always explain myself fully, but I always try to speak accurately.
     I begin as a philosopher but I end as a theologian. One of my great principles is that nothing happens without reason. This is a principle of philosophy. Ultimately, however, it is nothing other than an acknowledgement of divine wisdom, though I do not speak of this at first.
     In my opinion, organization can only begin by a miracle today or at the beginning of things. This is because it is infinite and the parts of natural machines are still machines.
     Epicurus and Mr Descartes were mistaken in thinking a body of a man or beast can be formed naturally or mechanically from a non-organic mass.





NOTES:

1. infinite ǀ and the universe ǀ deleted.
2. "between a substance and substances."
3.3 "one through itself."


© Lloyd Strickland 2019