In his mature years, Leibniz often hinted at his early commitment to atomism. The point is that, despite these autobiographical accounts, Leibniz’s first writings have generally been considered to offer no conclusive evidence of an atomist phase in his early mechanistic thinking. This has led Leibnizian scholars to debate whether Leibniz had ever really subscribed to atomism. In this chapter, I will not review the literature on this vexing question, as I consider it settled from the start on the basis of the available evidence. In fact, in my view, the existing evidence is strong enough to warrant the conclusion that – even if only for a short time, between 1666 and 1669 – Leibniz effectively endorsed the atoms and the void, and that even if this endorsement appears to be transient, it constitutes a significant chapter not only in Leibniz’s intellectual development but, as I will argue, also in the history of seventeenth-century atomism.

Atoms, colours and God in Leibniz

A. Artosi
2020

Abstract

In his mature years, Leibniz often hinted at his early commitment to atomism. The point is that, despite these autobiographical accounts, Leibniz’s first writings have generally been considered to offer no conclusive evidence of an atomist phase in his early mechanistic thinking. This has led Leibnizian scholars to debate whether Leibniz had ever really subscribed to atomism. In this chapter, I will not review the literature on this vexing question, as I consider it settled from the start on the basis of the available evidence. In fact, in my view, the existing evidence is strong enough to warrant the conclusion that – even if only for a short time, between 1666 and 1669 – Leibniz effectively endorsed the atoms and the void, and that even if this endorsement appears to be transient, it constitutes a significant chapter not only in Leibniz’s intellectual development but, as I will argue, also in the history of seventeenth-century atomism.
Atomism in Philosophy. A History from Antiquity to the Present
282
296
A. Artosi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/806354
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