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Ideas of Gottfried Leibniz, by Text

[German, 1646 - 1716, Born at Leipzig. Widely travelled. For a long time at the court of the Elector of Hanover. Died at Hanover.]

1669 Confessio naturae contra atheistas
A6.1.490 p.11 A body is that which exists in space
1669 Elements of Law and Justice
p.2 p.2 Hypotheses come from induction, which is comparison of experiences
1669 Letters to Thomasius
1669 p.24 The essence of a circle is the equality of its radii
1669.04 p.30 Bodies are recreated in motion, and don't exist in intervening instants
1671 Aristotle and Descartes on Matter
p.90 p.90 Prime matter is nothing when it is at rest
1672 Notes on John Wilkins
A6.2.487-8 p.25 Essence is the distinct thinkability of anything
1675 Letters to Foucher
p.4 The connection in events enables us to successfully predict the future, so there must be a constant cause
1676 p.222 Essence is primitive force, or a law of change
1676 De arcanus motus
203 p.237 Because of the definitions of cause, effect and power, cause and effect have the same power
203 p.238 Every necessary proposition is demonstrable to someone who understands
1676 Meditatio de principio individui
A6.3.490 p.60 Causes can be inferred from perfect knowledge of their effects
1676 Pacidius Philalethi dialogue
A6.3.565-6 p.45 Indivisibles are not parts, but the extrema of parts
1676 Paper of December 1676
A6.3.400 p.196 It's impossible, but imagine a body carrying on normally, but with no mind
1676 What is an Idea?
p.281 p.281 By an 'idea' I mean not an actual thought, but the resources we can draw on to think
1677 Dialogue on Things and Words
p.7 p.7 Truth is a characteristic of possible thoughts
p.7 p.7 True and false seem to pertain to thoughts, yet unthought propositions seem to be true or false
1677 On Motion
A6.4.1968 p.110 Motion is not absolute, but consists in relation
1677 Towards a Universal Characteristic
p.30 'Blind thought' is reasoning without recognition of the ingredients of the reasoning [Arthur,R]
p.17 p.17 Everything is subsumed under number, which is a metaphysical statics of the universe, revealing powers
p.18 p.18 We can assign a characteristic number to every single object
1678 Conspectus libelli (book outline)
A6.4.1398-9 p.55 Form or soul gives unity and duration; matter gives multiplicity and change
A6.4.1988 p.51 A body would be endless disunited parts, if it did not have a unifying form or soul
A6.4.1998-9 p.246 If we understand God and his choices, we have a priori knowledge of contingent truths [Garber]
A6.4.2010 p.50 Every body contains a kind of sense and appetite, or a soul
1678 De Natura Corporis
A6.4.1980 p.117 As well as extension, bodies contain powers
1678 Definitiones cogitationesque metaphysicae
A6.4.1398 p.121 Substance is that which can act
A6.4.1403 p.258 Nature can be fully explained by final causes alone, or by efficient causes alone
1679 De aequopollentia causae et effectus
A6.4.1964 p.244 Everything has a fixed power, as required by God, and by the possibility of reasoning
1679 Calculus Ratiocinator
A6.4.279 p.288 A whole is just its parts, but there are no smallest parts, so only minds and perceptions exist
1679 Of Organum or Ars Magna of Thinking
p.1 p.1 Our thoughts are either dependent, or self-evident. All thoughts seem to end in the self-evident
p.1 p.1 Supreme human happiness is the greatest possible increase of his perfection
p.3 p.3 An idea is analysed perfectly when it is shown a priori that it is possible
1679 Introduction to a Secret Encyclopaedia
C513-14 p.262 Analysing right down to primitive concepts seems beyond our powers
p.7 p.7 We hold a proposition true if we are ready to follow it, and can't see any objections
1679 Preface to Universal Characteristic
p.8 All other human gifts can harm us, but not correct reasoning
1680 Precepts for Advancing Science and Arts
p.34 p.34 I don't recommend universal doubt; we constantly seek reasons for things which are indubitable
1680 On Perceptions
A6.4.1398 p.280 Successful prediction shows proficiency in nature
A6.4.1398 p.280 If we are dreaming, it is sufficient that the events are coherent, and obey laws
1683 The Human Body is a sort of Machine
p.290 p.71 A machine is best defined by its final cause, which explains the roles of the parts
1684 Reflections on Knowledge, Truth and Ideas
p.283 p.283 In the schools the Four Causes are just lumped together in a very obscure way
p.283 p.283 Knowledge needs clarity, distinctness, and adequacy, and it should be intuitive
p.284 p.284 'Nominal' definitions just list distinguishing characteristics
p.287 p.287 True ideas represent what is possible; false ideas represent contradictions
1685 De modo distinguendi phaenomena
A6.4.1502 p.282 If experience is just a dream, it is still real enough if critical reason is never deceived
A6.4.1502 p.282 The strongest criterion that phenomena show reality is success in prediction
A6.4.1504 p.155 Light, heat and colour are apparent qualities, and so are motion, figure and extension
1686 De Mundo Praesenti
A6.4.1506 p.293 A true being must (unlike a chain) have united parts, with a substantial form as its subject
A6.4.1507-8 p.124 The substantial form is the principle of action or the primitive force of acting
1686 Discourse on Metaphysics
p.3 Substances mirror God or the universe, each from its own viewpoint
§03 p.37 People argue for God's free will, but it isn't needed if God acts in perfection following supreme reason
§13 p.23 Future contingent events are certain, because God foresees them, but that doesn't make them necessary
§18 p.119 The immediate cause of movements is more real [than geometry]
§27 p.37 Knowledge doesn't just come from the senses; we know the self, substance, identity, being etc.
§33 p.42 Mind and body can't influence one another, but God wouldn't intervene in the daily routine
§34 p.43 Animals lack morality because they lack self-reflection
§34 p.44 If a person's memories became totally those of the King of China, he would be the King of China
§8 p.18 Subjects include predicates, so full understanding of subjects reveals all the predicates
§8 p.41 The complete notion of a substance implies all of its predicates or attributes
§8 p.159 Leibniz is some form of haecceitist [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
10 p.566 Forms are of no value in physics, but are indispensable in metaphysics
5 p.39 Reason avoids multiplying hypotheses or principles
1686 A Specimen of Discoveries
p.75 p.75 The two basics of reasoning are contradiction and sufficient reason
p.78 p.78 God doesn't decide that Adam will sin, but that sinful Adam's existence is to be preferred
p.80 p.80 Assume that mind and body follow their own laws, but God has harmonised them
1686 Identity in Substances and True Propositions
p.98 p.98 Substances are in harmony, because they each express the one reality in themselves
1686 On Sufficient Reason
p.95 p.95 Necessities rest on contradiction, and contingencies on sufficient reason
p.95 p.95 Each of the infinite possible worlds has its own laws, and the individuals contain those laws
1686 Primary Truths
p.31 An a priori proof is independent of experience
1686 Letters to Antoine Arnauld
14.07.1686 p.63 I think the corpuscular theory, rather than forms or qualities, best explains particular phenomena
1686.04.12 p.15 Wise people have fewer acts of will, because such acts are linked together
1686.05 p.54 Everything which happens is not necessary, but is certain after God chooses this universe
1686.05 p.54 Miracles are extraordinary operations by God, but are nevertheless part of his design
1686.05.13 p.29 If varieties of myself can be conceived of as distinct from me, then they are not me
1686.05.13 p.33 I cannot think my non-existence, nor exist without being myself
1686.06 p.41 Truths about species are eternal or necessary, but individual truths concern what exists
1686.06 p.43 Each possible world contains its own laws, reflected in the possible individuals of that world
1686.06 p.48 Basic predicates give the complete concept, which then predicts all of the actions
1686.06 p.50 To fully conceive the subject is to explain the resulting predicates and events
1686.07.14 p.109 If someone's life went differently, then that would be another individual
1686.07.4/14 p.59 I can't just know myself to be a substance; I must distinguish myself from others, which is hard
1686.07.4/14 p.63 A truth is just a proposition in which the predicate is contained within the subject
1686.07.4/14 X p.55 Essences exist in the divine understanding
1686.07.4/14 X p.57 Everything, even miracles, belongs to order
1686.07.4/14 X p.58 The predicate is in the subject of a true proposition
1686.07.4/14 X p.63 Concepts are what unite a proposition
1686.07.4/14 X p.64 Immortality without memory is useless
1686.07.4/14 X p.66 Nature is explained by mathematics and mechanism, but the laws rest on metaphysics
1686.07.4/14 XI p.71 Metaphysics is geometrical, resting on non-contradiction and sufficient reason
1686.07.4/14 XI p.72 Definitions can only be real if the item is possible
1686.11 p.88 A body is a unified aggregate, unless it has an indivisible substance
1686.11 p.89 The soul is indestructible and always self-aware
1686.11 p.90 Animals have souls, but lack consciousness
1686.11.28/12.8 p.94 Unity needs an indestructible substance, to contain everything which will happen to it
1686.12.08 p.65 It seems probable that animals have souls, but not consciousness
1687.04.30 p.34 What is not truly one being is not truly a being either
1687.04.30 p.71 Nothing should be taken as certain without foundations
1687.04.30 p.74 Aggregates don’t reduce to points, or atoms, or illusion, so must reduce to substance
1687.04.30 p.121 There is no multiplicity without true units
1687.04.30 p.126 Accidental unity has degrees, from a mob to a society to a machine or organism
1687.04.30 p.294 Philosophy needs the precision of the unity given by substances
1687.04.30 p.295 We find unity in reason, and unity in perception, but these are not true unity
1687.10.09 p.73 Mind is a thinking substance which can know God and eternal truths
1687.10.09 p.144 A thing 'expresses' another if they have a constant and fixed relationship
1687.10.09 p.154 Every bodily substance must have a soul, or something analogous to a soul
1688.01.4/14 p.167 Motion alone is relative, but force is real, and establishes its subject
1688.01.4/14 p.170 A substance contains the laws of its operations, and its actions come from its own depth
1688.01.4/14 p.171 Beauty increases with familiarity
1690.03.23 p.171 Wisdom is the science of happiness
1690.03.23 p.171 Happiness is advancement towards perfection
G II 121 p.88 Bodies need a soul (or something like it) to avoid being mere phenomena
1686 True Method in Philosophy and Theology
p.64 p.64 What is not active is nothing
1687 A General Principle to Explain Laws of Nature
p.67 p.67 Inequality can be brought infinitely close to equality
p.69 p.69 Philosophy is sanctified, because it flows from God
1688 On the Reality of Accidents
p.147 Abstracta are abbreviated ways of talking; there are just substances, and truths about them
1689 On Freedom
p.106 p.106 If non-existents are possible, their existence would replace what now exists, which cannot therefore be necessary
p.108 p.108 Necessary truths can be analysed into original truths; contingent truths are infinitely analysable
p.109 p.109 God does everything in a perfect way, and never acts contrary to reason
p.95 p.95 Only God sees contingent truths a priori
1689 Letter on Freedom
p.112 p.112 For every event it is possible for an omniscient being to give a reason for its occurrence
1689 On Copernicanism and Relativity of Motion
p.91 p.91 Choose the true hypothesis, which is the most intelligible one
p.92 p.92 The Copernican theory is right because it is the only one offering a good explanation
1689 Specimen inventorum
A6.4.1620 p.213 The cause of a change is not the real influence, but whatever gives a reason for the change
1690 Exigency to Exist in Essences
p.91 p.91 Possibles demand existence, so as many of them as possible must actually exist
p.92 p.92 God's sufficient reason for choosing reality is in the fitness or perfection of possibilities
p.92 p.92 The actual universe is the richest composite of what is possible
1690 Human Freedom and Divine choice
Grua 383 p.127 The essence is the necessary properties, and the concept includes what is contingent
1690 Of liberty, Fate and God's grace
Grua 311 p.126 The complete concept of an individual includes contingent properties, as well as necessary ones
1690 The Nature and Communication of Substance
p.120 p.120 If the universe is a perfect agreement of uncommunicating substances, there must be a common source
p.121 p.121 Maybe mind and body are parallel, like two good clocks
1690 Notes on Comments by Fardella
Clarif p.105 Substances are everywhere in matter, like points in a line
Prop 3 p.103 To exist and be understood, a multitude must first be reduced to a unity
1690 Letters to Fardella
A6.4.1670 p.92 The soul is not a substance but a substantial form, the first active faculty
1690 works
p.1 Leibniz's view (that all properties are essential) is extreme essentialism, not its denial [Mackie,P]
p.5 Number cannot be defined as addition of ones, since that needs the number; it is a single act of abstraction [Fine,K]
p.10 Leibniz struggled to reconcile bodies with a reality of purely soul-like entities [Jolley]
p.21 Leibniz is inclined to regard all truths as provable [Frege]
p.22 Leibniz said dualism of mind and body is illusion, and there is only mind [Martin/Barresi]
p.22 Leibniz had an unusual commitment to the causal completeness of physics [Papineau]
p.23 Leibniz has a panpsychist view that physical points are spiritual [Martin/Barresi]
p.32 Leibniz was the first modern to focus on sentence-sized units (where empiricists preferred word-size) [Hart,WD]
p.33 For Leibniz, divine understanding grasps every conceivable possibility [Perkins]
p.39 Concepts are ordered, and show eternal possibilities, deriving from God [Arthur,R]
p.42 Substances are essentially active [Jolley]
p.45 If relations can be reduced to, or supervene on, monadic properties of relata, they are not real [Swoyer]
p.56 Two eggs can't be identical, because the same truths can't apply to both of them
p.59 Leibniz moved from individuation by whole entity to individuation by substantial form [Garber]
p.64 Occasionalism give a false view of natural laws, miracles, and substances [Jolley]
p.74 Leibniz proposes monads, since there must be basic things, which are immaterial in order to have unity [Jolley]
p.76 Things are the same if one can be substituted for the other without loss of truth
p.83 Leibniz narrows down God's options to one, by non-contradiction, sufficient reason, indiscernibles, compossibility [Harré]
p.88 Leibniz is an idealist insofar as the basic components of his universe are all mental [Jolley]
p.98 Humans are moral, and capable of reward and punishment, because of memory and self-consciousness [Jolley]
p.109 Leibniz was not an essentialist [Wiggins]
p.110 Leibniz introduced the idea of degrees of consciousness, essential for his monads [Perkins]
p.113 A reason must be given why contingent beings should exist rather than not exist
p.118 Leibniz has a counterpart view of de re counterfactuals [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
p.120 Leibniz aims to give coherent rational support for empiricism [Perkins]
p.122 Forms have sensation and appetite, the latter being the ability to act on other bodies [Garber]
p.128 Leibniz strengthened hylomorphism by connecting it to force in physics [Garber]
p.136 Leibniz said the principle of sufficient reason is synthetic a priori, since its denial is not illogical [Benardete,JA]
p.136 For Leibniz rationality is based on non-contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason [Benardete,JA]
p.150 Limited awareness leads to bad choices, and unconscious awareness makes us choose the bad [Perkins]
p.154 Each monad expresses all its compatible monads; a possible world is the resulting equivalence class [Rumfitt]
p.163 Metaphysics is a science of the intelligible nature of being [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
p.169 The essence of a thing is its real possibilities [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
p.171 God's existence is either necessary or impossible [Scruton]
p.179 Leibniz wanted to explain motion and its laws by the nature of body [Garber]
p.179 Leibniz bases pure primitive entities on conjunctions of qualitative properties [Adams,RM]
p.195 Natural law theory is found in Aquinas, in Leibniz, and at the Nuremberg trials [Jolley]
p.200 Leibniz rejected atoms, because they must be elastic, and hence have parts [Garber]
p.217 Leibnizian substances add concept, law, force, form and soul [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
p.226 Necessary truths are those provable from identities by pure logic in finite steps [Hacking]
p.234 A tangent is a line connecting two points on a curve that are infinitely close together
p.236 Nature uses the infinite everywhere
p.238 Leibniz proposed possible worlds, because they might be evil, where God would not create evil things [Stewart,M]
p.285 We think we are free because the causes of the will are unknown; determinism is a false problem
p.286 The laws-of-the-series plays a haecceitist role [Cover/O'Leary-Hawthorne]
p.293 Leibniz was closer than Spinoza to atheism [Stewart,M]
p.317 Leibniz eventually said resistance, rather than extension, was the essence of body [Pasnau]
p.371 Reason is the faculty for grasping apriori necessary truths [Burge]
p.432 Leibniz tried to combine mechanistic physics with scholastic metaphysics [Pasnau]
p.590 Leibniz identified beauty with intellectual perfection [Gardner]
9.II p.168 Leibniz uses 'force' to mean both activity and potential
A 6.3.326 p.220 The essence of substance is the law of its changes, as in the series of numbers
A VI ii 241 p.58 Microscopes and the continuum suggest that matter is endlessly divisible
A VI iii 555 p.68 The continuum is not divided like sand, but folded like paper [Arthur,R]
G II:263 p.76 The law within something fixes its persistence, and accords with general laws of nature
G II:264 p.85 Identity of a substance is the law of its persistence
G II:517 p.85 Relations aren't in any monad, so they are distributed, so they are not real
G VII:194 p.138 How can things be incompatible, if all positive terms seem to be compatible?
1691 Letters to Paul Pellison-Fontinier
A1.6.226 p.154 Clearly, force is that from which action follows, when unimpeded
A1.6.226 p.154 Time doesn't exist, since its parts don't coexist
1693 On Wisdom
0 p.77 Wisdom is knowing all of the sciences, and their application
1 p.79 Perfect knowledge implies complete explanations and perfect prediction
1693 Reply to Foucher
p.99 p.99 I strongly believe in the actual infinite, which indicates the perfections of its author
1693 Letters to Jacques Lenfant
1693.11.25 p.171 The most primitive thing in substances is force, which leads to their actions and dispositions
1694 De primae philosophiae emendatione
G IV 469 p.128 The concept of forces or powers best reveals the true concept of substance
1695 Dialogue on human freedom and origin of evil
p.113 p.113 Sloth's Syllogism: either it can't happen, or it is inevitable without my effort
p.114 p.114 Evil is a negation of good, which arises from non-being
p.114 p.114 Circles must be bounded, so cannot be infinite
p.115 p.115 God only made sin possible because a much greater good can be derived from it
1695 New system of communication of substances
p.139 p.139 We need the metaphysical notion of force to explain mechanics, and not just extended mass
p.139 p.139 I call Aristotle's entelechies 'primitive forces', which originate activity
p.139 p.139 My formal unifying atoms are substantial forms, which are forces like appetites
p.142 p.142 The analysis of things leads to atoms of substance, which found both composition and action
p.144 p.144 Substance must necessarily involve progress and change
1696 On the Principles of Indiscernibles
p.134 p.134 The concept of an existing thing must contain more than the concept of a non-existing thing
1696 New System and Explanation of New System
p.116 p.116 To regard animals as mere machines may be possible, but seems improbable
p.116 p.116 Reality must be made of basic unities, which will be animated, substantial points
p.120 p.120 No machine or mere organised matter could have a unified self
Reply 11 p.127 The soul does know bodies, although they do not influence one another
1697 On the Ultimate Origination of Things
p.89 Leibniz first asked 'why is there something rather than nothing?' [Jacquette]
p.139 p.139 The world is physically necessary, as its contrary would imply imperfection or moral absurdity
p.150 p.150 There must be a straining towards existence in the essence of all possible things
p.150 p.150 We follow the practical rule which always seeks maximum effect for minimum cost
p.151 p.151 Wisdom involves the desire to achieve perfection
p.347 p.347 Because something does exist, there must be a drive in possible things towards existence
p.347 p.347 The principle of determination in things obtains the greatest effect with the least effort
1697 A Résumé of Metaphysics
§11 p.146 Perfection is simply quantity of reality
§18 p.146 Intelligent pleasure is the perception of beauty, order and perfection
§23 p.147 Evil serves a greater good, and pain is necessary for higher pleasure
1697 Letters to Bouvet
p.165 p.105 We want good education and sociability, rather than lots of moral precepts
1698 On Nature Itself (De Ipsa Natura)
§04 p.157 Final causes can help with explanations in physics
§06 p.158 If there is some trace of God in things, that would explain their natural force
§08 p.159 Substance is a force for acting and being acted upon
§10 p.161 It is plausible to think substances contain the same immanent force seen in our free will
§11 p.162 There are atoms of substance, but no atoms of bulk or extension
§12 p.142 Secondary matter is active and complete; primary matter is passive and incomplete
§12 p.163 Something rather like souls (though not intelligent) could be found everywhere
8 p.160 To say that nature or the one universal substance is God is a pernicious doctrine
1698 Letter to the Editor about Bayle
§13 p.207 All that is real in motion is the force or power which produces change
p.205 p.205 In addition to laws, God must also create appropriate natures for things
1699 Letters to Johann Bernoulli
1698.11.18 p.168 What we cannot imagine may still exist
1698.11.18 p.169 Death is just the contraction of an animal
1698.12.17 p.169 A piece of flint contains something resembling perceptions and appetites
1698.12.17 p.170 Entelechies are analogous to souls, as other minds are analogous to our own minds
1702 On Body and Force, Against the Cartesians
p.252 p.252 Active force is not just potential for action, since it involves a real effort or striving
p.252 p.252 Power is passive force, which is mass, and active force, which is entelechy or form
p.253 p.253 God's laws would be meaningless without internal powers for following them
p.255 p.255 To explain a house we must describe its use, as well as its parts
p.256 p.256 All qualities of bodies reduce to forces
1702 Reply to 'Rorarius' 2nd ed
GP iv 568 p.153 Space and time are the order of all possibilities, and don't just relate to what is actual
1702 Letters to Pierre Bayle
1702 p.182 If we know what is good or rational, our knowledge is extended, and our free will restricted
1702 Letters to Queen Charlotte
1702 p.191 A necessary feature (such as air for humans) is not therefore part of the essence
1702 p.355 We know objects by perceptions, but their qualities don't reveal what it is we are perceiving
1702 p.359 There is nothing in the understanding but experiences, plus the understanding itself, and the understander
1702 p.360 Intelligible truth is independent of any external things or experiences
p.189 p.189 We know mathematical axioms, such as subtracting equals from equals leaves equals, by a natural light
1702 Letters to Varignon
1702 p.187 Men are related to animals, which are related to plants, then to fossils, and then to the apparently inert
1703 Letters to Thomas Burnett
1699 draft p.289 Gravity is within matter because of its structure, and it can be explained.
1699.01.20/30 p.286 The notion of substance is one of the keys to true philosophy
1704 New Essays on Human Understanding
Pref p.150 The instances confirming a general truth are never enough to establish its necessity
Pref p.152 Animal thought is a shadow of reasoning, connecting sequences of images by imagination
Pref p.158 No two things are totally identical
Pref p.168 If you fully understand a subject and its qualities, you see how the second derive from the first
Pref p.168 Material or immaterial substances cannot be conceived without their essential activity
Pref p.170 Animals have thought and sensation, and indestructible immaterial souls
Pref 65 p.65 Substances cannot be bare, but have activity as their essence
Pref 66 p.66 Qualities should be predictable from the nature of the subject
1.01 p.74 All of our thoughts come from within the soul, and not from the senses
1.01 p.80 You may experience a universal truth, but only reason can tell you that it is always true
1.01 p.80 Proofs of necessity come from the understanding, where they have their source
1.01 p.81 The senses are confused, and necessities come from distinct intellectual ideas
1.01 p.83 Particular truths are just instances of general truths
1.01 p.86 Arithmetic and geometry are implicitly innate, awaiting revelation
1.01 p.86 The idea of being must come from our own existence
1.01.20 p.84 General principles, even if unconscious, are indispensable for thinking
1.02 p.91 We can't want everyone to have more than their share, so a further standard is needed
1.02 p.94 Every feeling is the perception of a truth
1.02 p.96 There are natural rewards and punishments, like illness after over-indulgence
1.02 p.101 We shouldn't just accept Euclid's axioms, but try to demonstrate them
2.01 p.109 Wholly uniform things like space and numbers are mere abstractions
2.01 p.109 An idea is an independent inner object, which expresses the qualities of things
2.01 p.110 There cannot be power without action; the power is a disposition to act
2.01 p.110 What is left of the 'blank page' if you remove the ideas?
2.01 p.114 Individuality is in the bond substance gives between past and future
2.01 p.114 Memory doesn't make identity; a man who relearned everything would still be the same man
2.01 p.116 It is a serious mistake to think that we are aware of all of our perceptions
2.01 p.119 Thoughts correspond to sensations, but ideas are independent of thoughts
2.06 p.129 The idea of the will includes the understanding
2.07 p.120 The idea of green seems simple, but it must be compounded of the ideas of blue and yellow
2.07 p.129 We only believe in sensible things when reason helps the senses
2.08 p.131 Colour and pain must express the nature of their stimuli, without exact resemblance
2.08 p.132 A pain doesn't resemble the movement of a pin, but it resembles the bodily movement pins cause
2.09 p.135 Light takes time to reach us, so objects we see may now not exist
2.09 p.137 We must distinguish images from exact defined ideas
2.11 p.142 Abstraction attends to the general, not the particular, and involves universal truths
2.13 p.149 Space is an order among actual and possible things
2.13 p.151 Fluidity is basic, and we divide into bodies according to our needs
2.15 p.155 If there were duration without change, we could never establish its length
2.15 p.155 God's essence is the source of possibilities, and his will the source of existents
2.15 p.156 Only whole numbers are multitudes of units
2.20 p.162 The good is the virtuous, the pleasing, or the useful
2.20 p.163 Love is pleasure in the perfection, well-being or happiness of its object
2.21 p.172 Volition automatically endeavours to move towards what it sees as good (and away from bad)
2.21 p.172 We discern active power from our minds, so mind must be involved in all active powers
2.21 p.173 We understand things when they are distinct, and we can derive necessities from them
2.21 p.194 Pleasure is a sense of perfection
2.21 p.199 The will determines action, by what is seen as good, but it does not necessitate it
2.21 p.199 Opposing reason is opposing truth, since reason is a chain of truths
2.21 p.201 If would be absurd not to disagree with someone's taste if it was a taste for poisons
2.21 p.210 All occurrence in the depth of a substance is spontaneous 'action'
2.21.13 p.179 Without the principle of sufficient reason, God's existence could not be demonstrated
2.22 p.213 Objects of ideas can be divided into abstract and concrete, and then further subdivided
2.22 p.216 I use the word 'entelechy' for a power, to include endeavour, as well as mere aptitude
2.23 p.217 A 'substratum' is just a metaphor for whatever supports several predicates
2.23 p.226 The active powers which are not essential to the substance are the 'real qualities'
2.27 p.230 We use things to distinguish places and times, not vice versa
2.27 p.230 No two things are quite the same, so there must be an internal principle of distinction
2.27 p.230 If two individuals could be indistinguishable, there could be no principle of individuation
2.27 p.230 We can imagine two bodies interpenetrating, as two rays of light seem to
2.27 p.231 Bodies, like Theseus's ship, are only the same in appearance, and never strictly the same
2.27 p.236 We know our own identity by psychological continuity, even if there are some gaps
2.27.11 p.238 The same whole ceases to exist if a part is lost
2.29 p.265 People who can't apply names usually don't understand the thing to which it applies
2.31 p.267 If our ideas of a thing are imperfect, the thing can have several unconnected definitions
2.31 p.267 We have a distinct idea of gold, to define it, but not a perfect idea, to understand it
2.31 p.267 We will only connect our various definitions of gold when we understand it more deeply
2.31 p.268 A perfect idea of an object shows that the object is possible
3.03 p.289 The only way we can determine individuals is by keeping hold of them
3.03 p.292 Genus and differentia might be swapped, and 'rational animal' become 'animable rational'
3.03 p.293 Essence is just the possibility of a thing
3.03 p.294 A nominal definition is of the qualities, but the real definition is of the essential inner structure
3.03 p.294 One essence can be expressed by several definitions
3.03 p.295 Real definitions, unlike nominal definitions, display possibilities
3.04 p.297 Maybe motion is definable as 'change of place'
3.05 p.302 The essence of baldness is vague and imperfect
3.06 p.305 For some sorts, a member of it is necessarily a member
3.06 p.307 The universe contains everything possible for its perfect harmony
3.06 p.309 Our true divisions of nature match reality, but are probably incomplete
3.08 p.333 Real (non-logical) abstract terms are either essences or accidents
3.10 p.341 Children learn language fast, with little instruction and few definitions
3.10 p.343 Have five categories - substance, quantity, quality, action/passion, relation - and their combinations
3.10 p.343 Logic teaches us how to order and connect our thoughts
3.10 p.345 Gold has a real essence, unknown to us, which produces its properties
3.11 p.354 The name 'gold' means what we know of gold, and also further facts about it which only others know
3.3 p.289 We can't know individuals, or determine their exact individuality
4.02 p.367 I know more than I think, since I know I think A then B then C
4.02 p.369 Analysis is the art of finding the middle term
4.02 p.375 Understanding grasps the agreements and disagreements of ideas
4.03 p.379 Substances are primary powers; their ways of being are the derivative powers
4.05 p.398 Truth is correspondence between mental propositions and what they are about
4.06 p.403 Our sensation of green is a confused idea, like objects blurred by movement
4.06 p.407 It is always good to reduce the number of axioms
4.07 p.411 The Cogito doesn't prove existence, because 'I am thinking' already includes 'I am'
4.11 p.444 Truth arises among sensations from grounding reasons and from regularities
4.11 p.445 Certainty is where practical doubt is insane, or at least blameworthy
4.11.14 p.110 At bottom eternal truths are all conditional
4.12 p.452 Geometry, unlike sensation, lets us glimpse eternal truths and their necessity
4.17 p.475 A reason is a known truth which leads to assent to some further truth
6.6.292 p.199 If two people apply a single term to different resemblances, they refer to two different things
6.6.311 p.200 Locke needs many instances to show a natural kind, but why not a single instance? [Jolley]
6.6.345 p.201 Part of our idea of gold is its real essence, which is not known to us in detail
6.6.354 p.201 The word 'gold' means a hidden constitution known to experts, and not just its appearances
App X p.37 A perfection is a simple quality, which is positive and absolute, and has no limit
App X p.38 Perfections must have overlapping parts if their incompatibility is to be proved
App X p.39 Descartes needs to demonstrate how other people can attain his clear and distinct conceptions
1705 On Note L to Bayle's 'Rorarius'
[C] p.235 We should say that body is mechanism and soul is immaterial, asserting their independence
[L] p.238 The soul doesn't understand many of its own actions, if perceptions are confused and desires buried
[L] p.238 Minds unconsciously count vibration beats in music, and enjoy it when they coincide
1705 Principle of Life and Plastic Natures
p.190 p.190 Not all of matter is animated, any more than a pond full of living fish is animated
p.192 p.192 All substances are in harmony, even though separate, so they must have one divine cause
p.194 p.194 Mechanics shows that all motion originates in other motion, so there is a Prime Mover
p.195 p.195 Death and generation are just transformations of an animal, augmented or diminished
p.195 p.195 Not all of perception is accompanied by consciousness
p.198 p.198 Souls act as if there were no bodies, and bodies act as if there were no souls
p.198 p.198 Every particle of matter contains organic bodies
1706 Letters to Burcher De Volder
1699 p.223 The force behind motion is like a soul, with its own laws of continual change
1699.03.24 p.173 An entelechy is a law of the series of its event within some entity
1699.03.24/04.03 p.161 Soul represents body, but soul remains unchanged, while body continuously changes
1699.03.24/04.03 p.162 Scientific truths are supported by mutual agreement, as well as agreement with the phenomena
1699.06.23 p.154 Our notions may be formed from concepts, but concepts are formed from things
1703.06.20 p.175 Things in different locations are different because they 'express' those locations
1703.06.20 p.176 A complete monad is a substance with primitive active and passive power
1703.06.20 p.178 Space is the order of coexisting possibles
1703.06.20 p.178 Time is the order of inconsistent possibilities
1703.06.20 p.180 If two bodies only seem to differ in their position, those different environments will matter
1703.06.20 p.180 In nature there aren't even two identical straight lines, so no two bodies are alike
1703.06.20 p.312 Monads are not extended, but have a kind of situation in extension
1704 p.96 The law of the series, which determines future states of a substance, is what individuates it
1704 p.220 The only permanence in things, constituting their substance, is a law of continuity
1704 or 1705 p.181 Primitive forces are internal strivings of substances, acting according to their internal laws
1704 or 1705 p.182 The division of nature into matter makes distinct appearances, and that presupposes substances
1704 or 1705 p.183 Universals are just abstractions by concealing some of the circumstances
1704 or 1705 p.183 Even if extension is impenetrable, this still offers no explanation for motion and its laws
1704.01.21 p.312 Only monads are substances, and bodies are collections of them
1704.06.30 p.180 Changeable accidents are modifications of unchanging essences
1704.06.30 p.363 Only unities have any reality
1705.01 p.314 Derivate forces are in phenomena, but primitive forces are in the internal strivings of substances
1706.01.19 p.185 In actual things nothing is indefinite
1706.01.19 p.186 The only indications of reality are agreement among phenomena, and their agreement with necessities
G II 170 p.164 Thought terminates in force, rather than extension
GP ii 240 p.148 A man's distant wife dying is a real change in him
1707 Letters to Coste
1707 p.483 The universe is infinitely varied, so the Buridan's Ass dilemma could never happen
1707 p.484 There may be a world where dogs smell their game at a thousand leagues
1710 The Theodicy
Abridge III p.514 Prayers are useful, because God foresaw them in his great plan
p.098 p.42 How can an all-good, wise and powerful being allow evil, sin and apparent injustice?
p.120 p.54 Being confident of God's goodness, we disregard the apparent local evils in the visible world
p.127 p.20 God is the first reason of things; our experiences are contingent, and contain no necessity
p.127 p.21 God must be intelligible, to select the actual world from the possibilities
p.128 p.21 The intelligent cause must be unique and all-perfect, to handle all the interconnected possibilities
p.130 p.59 Most people facing death would happily re-live a similar life, with just a bit of variety
p.136 p.31 Will is an inclination to pursue something good
p.136 p.45 Metaphysical evil is imperfection; physical evil is suffering; moral evil is sin
p.151 p.156 Saying we must will whatever we decide to will leads to an infinite regress
p.159 p.102 Perfections of soul subordinate the body, but imperfections of soul submit to the body
p.189 p.51 God prefers men to lions, but might not exterminate lions to save one man
p.192 p.37 Reasonings have a natural ordering in God's understanding, but only a temporal order in ours
p.237 p.28 If justice is arbitrary, or fixed but not observed, or not human justice, this undermines God
p.332 p.24 The laws of physics are wonderful evidence of an intelligent and free being
p.426 p.155 You can't assess moral actions without referring to the qualities of character that produce them
1710 Letters to Wagner
1710 §2 p.504 Bare or primary matter is passive; it is clothed or secondary matter which contains action
1712 Geometrical Method and Metaphysics
p.89 p.89 Minds are best explained by their ends, and bodies by efficient causes
1712 Metaphysical conseqs of principle of reason
§5 p.174 Power rules in efficient causes, but wisdom rules in connecting them to final causes
§7 p.175 All substances analyse down to simple substances, which are souls, or 'monads'
1712 Letters to Lelong
1712 p.254 Force in substance makes state follow state, and ensures the very existence of substance
1714 Principles of Nature and Grace based on Reason
§17 p.203 Music charms, although its beauty is the harmony of numbers
§4 p.208 'Perception' is basic internal representation, and 'apperception' is reflective knowledge of perception
§5 p.197 Animals are semi-rational because they connect facts, but they don't see causes
§7 p.199 First: there must be reasons; Second: why anything at all?; Third: why this?
4 p.208 A monad and its body are living, so life is everywhere, and comes in infinite degrees
1715 Metaphysical Foundations of Mathematics
p.201 p.201 When one element contains the grounds of the other, the first one is prior in time
1715 Letters to Des Bosses
1712.02.05 p.198 Without a substantial chain to link monads, they would just be coordinated dreams
1712.02.05 p.199 Things seem to be unified if we see duration, position, interaction and connection
1712.02.05 p.200 Every substance is alive
1712.05.26 p.201 Monads do not make a unity unless a substantial chain is added to them
1716.01.13 p.379 A substantial bond of powers is needed to unite composites, in addition to monads
1716.05.29 p.202 There is a reason why not every possible thing exists
1716.05.29 p.202 There is active and passive power in the substantial chain and in the essence of a composite
1716.05.29 p.202 We can grasp the wisdom of God a priori
1716.05.29 p.203 A composite substance is a mere aggregate if its essence is just its parts
1716.05.29 p.204 Monads control nothing outside of themselves
1716.05.29 p.205 Primitive force is what gives a composite its reality
1716.05.29 p.205 Allow no more miracles than are necessary
1716.05.29 p.206 Truth is mutually agreed perception
1715 Letters to Remond de Montmort
1715 p.189 Passions reside in confused perceptions
1715 §2 p.554 Our large perceptions and appetites are made up tiny unconscious fragments
1715 §8 p.557 God produces possibilities, and thus ideas
1715.06.22/G III 645 p.236 Some necessary truths are brute, and others derive from final causes
1715 Letters to Wolff
1715.05.18 p.233 The properties of a thing flow from its essence
1716 Against Barbaric physics
A&G:313 p.426 Some people return to scholastic mysterious qualities, disguising them as 'forces'
1716 Monadology
p.3 The monad idea incomprehensibly spiritualises matter, instead of materialising soul [La Mettrie]
p.83 If a substance is just a thing that has properties, it seems to be a characterless non-entity [Macdonald,C]
p.85 He replaced Aristotelian continuants with monads [Wiggins]
p.308 Is a drop of urine really an infinity of thinking monads? [Voltaire]
p.355 It is unclear in 'Monadology' how extended bodies relate to mind-like monads. [Garber]
(opening) p.88 The true elements are atomic monads
§09 p.214 There must be some internal difference between any two beings in nature
§11-12 p.214 Changes in a monad come from an internal principle, and the diversity within its substance
§17 p.181 Increase a conscious machine to the size of a mill - you still won't see perceptions in it
§19 p.150 A 'monad' has basic perception and appetite; a 'soul' has distinct perception and memory
§28 p.183 We all expect the sun to rise tomorrow by experience, but astronomers expect it by reason
§30 p.217 We know the 'I' and its contents by abstraction from awareness of necessary truths
§31 p.184 Falsehood involves a contradiction, and truth is contradictory of falsehood
§32 p.184 No fact can be real and no proposition true unless there is a Sufficient Reason (even if we can't know it)
§33 p.184 Truths of reason are known by analysis, and are necessary; facts are contingent, and their opposites possible
§35 p.153 Mathematical analysis ends in primitive principles, which cannot be and need not be demonstrated
§45 p.186 God alone (the Necessary Being) has the privilege that He must exist if He is possible
§58 p.188 This is the most perfect possible universe, in its combination of variety with order
§61 p.189 Everything in the universe is interconnected, so potentially a mind could know everything
1716 Letters to Samuel Clarke
p.57 If time were absolute that would make God's existence dependent on it [Bardon]
§2 p.207 The existence of God, and all metaphysics, follows from the Principle of Sufficient Reason
§2 p.207 The principle of sufficient reason is needed if we are to proceed from maths to physics
3.2 p.211 There is always a reason why things are thus rather than otherwise
3.4 p.210 Space and time are purely relative
3.6 p.212 If everything in the universe happened a year earlier, there would be no discernible difference
4.04 p.216 Atomism is irrational because it suggests that two atoms can be indistinguishable
4.14 p.217 The idea that the universe could be moved forward with no other change is just a fantasy
4.21 p.218 No reason could limit the quantity of matter, so there is no limit
4.PS p.220 Things are infinitely subdivisible and contain new worlds, which atoms would make impossible
5.24 p.225 The only simple things are monads, with no parts or extension
5.49 p.233 No time exists except instants, and instants are not even a part of time, so time does not exist
5th paper p.235 Leibniz upheld conservations of momentum and energy [Papineau]
5th Paper, §47 p.315 The ratio between two lines can't be a feature of one, and cannot be in both
V §91 p.162 All simply substances are in harmony, because they all represent the one universe
1716 Letters to Samuel Masson
1716 p.229 I don't admit infinite numbers, and consider infinitesimals to be useful fictions