Leibniz’s Animals: Where Teleology Meets Mechanism

  • Glenn A. Hartz
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 67)


Glenn Hartz claims that Leibniz’s theory of corporeal substance helps resolve the problem of the incompatibility of extension (the realm of mechanism) and thought (that of teleology). He maintains that this resolution makes that theory unattractive to defenders of the “idealist” account of Leibniz’s metaphysics, since according to them mechanism (body) grows out of what’s teleological (the monads) and no deep incompatibility can arise. Hartz goes on to take Leibniz’s account of intentional action as a test case, in order to determine whether the “all explained mechanistically” doctrine is always upheld, or whether the guidance of the dominant substance is sometimes needed to explain what is going on in the organic body under its command.


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  2. Bennett J. 2005. Leibniz’s Two Realms. In Leibniz: Nature and Freedom, 135–155, eds. D. Rutherford and J.A. Cover. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hartz G. A. 2007. Leibniz’s Final System: Monads, Matter and Animals. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityMansfieldUSA

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