Advertisement

Continuity or Discontinuity? Some Remarks on Leibniz’s Concepts of “Substantia Vivens” and “Organism”

  • A. M. Nunziante
Chapter
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 67)

Abstract

Antonio Nunziante tells us that the doctrine of natural machines, of organisms, and of composite substances assumes a marked consistency in Leibniz throughout his mature years. Thus for a full explanation of the conceptual content of Leibniz’s reflections on the nature of living substances we must turn to the “classic” places where it took form: to the letters to De Volder and Lady Masham, to the Nouveaux Essais, to the Animadversiones against Stahl, and to the Principes de la Nature et de la Grace and to the Monadologie. Nunziante asks: what connection is there between the proto-theory of living beings of the 1680s and that of the mature years? To approach the problem in reverse fashion: what elements of discontinuity suddenly break into Leibniz’s reflections from the second half of the 1690s, in contrast with the immediately preceding phases of his thought? Certainly, there are the monads. But Nunziante wishes to know whether it is possible to find certain finer-grained changes. After a decade of intense theoretical debate on the nature of corporeal substances, on organisms, on machines of nature, Nunziante wishes to sketch a historical picture that accounts in a coherent manner for the development of Leibniz’s thought.

Keywords

Causal Action Composite Substance Marked Consistency Distinction Unum Historical Picture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Carvallo, s. 2004. La controverse entre Stahl et Leibniz sur la vie, l’organisme et le mixtes. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  2. Duchesneau, f. 1996. Le principe de finalité et la science leibnizienne. Revue philosophique de Louvain 3: 387–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Duchesneau, f. 1998. Les modèles du vivant de Descartes à Leibniz. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  4. Erle, G. 2005. Leibniz, Lully e la Teodicea. Padova: Il Poligrafo.Google Scholar
  5. Fichant, M. 2003. Leibniz et les machines de la nature. Studia Leibnitiana 35.1: 1–28.Google Scholar
  6. Fichant, M. 2004. La costituzione del concetto di monade, in Monadi e Monadologie. Il mondo degli individui tra Bruno, Leibniz e Husserl. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Salerno, 10–12 June. Rubbettino: 59–81.Google Scholar
  7. Hartz, G. 2007. Leibniz’s Final System. Monads, Matter and Animals. London and New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hartz, G. and Wilson, C. 2005. Idea and Animals: The Hard Problem of Leibnizian Metaphysics. Studia Leibnitiana 37.1: 1–19.Google Scholar
  9. Ishiguro, h. 1998. Unity without Simplicity. Leibniz on Organisms. The Monist 81.4: 534–552.Google Scholar
  10. Ishiguro, h. 2001. Is there a conflict between the logical and metaphysical notion of unity in Leibniz? Akten des VII Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Berlin 10–14 September, Bd. II: 535–541.Google Scholar
  11. Look, B. 2002. On Monadic Domination in Leibniz’s Metaphysics. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 10.3: 379–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luppi, A. 1989. Lo specchio dell’Armonia Universale. Estetica e musica in Leibniz. Milan: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  13. Mugnai, M. 2001. Introduzione alla filosofia di Leibniz. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  14. Nunziante, A. 2002. Organismo come Armonia. La genesi del concetto di organismo vivente in G.W. Leibniz. Trento: Pubblicazioni di Verifiche.Google Scholar
  15. Nunziante, A. 2004. ‘Corpus vivens est automaton sui perpetuativum ex naturae istituto’. Some Remarks on Leibniz’s Distinction between ‘Machina naturalis’ and ‘Organica artificialia’. Studia Leibnitiana SH 32: 203–216.Google Scholar
  16. Nunziante, A. 2006. ‘Monas Dominans’ like ‘Monas actuatrix’. A Case of Unity in Plurality. Akten des VIII Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Einheit in der Vielheit, Hannover, 24–29 July, 2 vol: 729–736.Google Scholar
  17. Pasini, E. 1996. Corpo e funzioni cognitive in Leibniz. Milan: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  18. Pasini, E. 2006. Kinds of Unity, Modes of Union.VIII Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Einheit in der Vielheit, Hannover, 24–29 July, 2 vol: 780–787.Google Scholar
  19. Phemister, P. 1999. Leibniz and the Elements of Compound Bodies. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 7: 57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Phemister, P. 2005. Leibniz and the Natural World. Activity, Passivity and Corporeal Substances in Leibniz’s Philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  21. Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac. 1962. Oeuvres completes. I Vol. Nouvelle Edition par P.L. Jacob, Paris: Galic.Google Scholar
  22. Schneider, M. 1985. Leibniz über Geist und Maschine. Philosophisches Jahrbuch 92: 335–352.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, J. E. H. 1998. On the Fate of Composite Substances After 1704. Studia Leibnitiana 30.2: 204–210.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università di PadovaPaduaItaly

Personalised recommendations