The Rationalists: Leibniz Rationalism and Theodicy

Soazig Le Bihan - University of Montana


Introduction 2. Conclusion Soazig Le Bihan . Rationalism 3. Theodicy 4.Outline 1.University of Montana 2 .

Late discovery of new philosophy (when diplomat) .Education: Scholastics .Discourse on Metaphysics.Introduction: Leibniz. Life and Works Life: .Theodicy. New Essays .1646 – 1716 – Lutheran educated elite .The last universal genius . Monadology Extremely prolific writer and Changing philosophy Soazig Le Bihan .Rest of his life: Hanover – historian Works: .University of Montana 3 .

Infinity of Possible Worlds – One actual world .Principle of Sufficient Reason Soazig Le Bihan .Introduction: Basics Orientations Philosophy of the Middle Ground: .Between Rationalism and Empiricism Theodicy: .Explain that the world we live is is the most perfect The Best Possible World: .Take seriously the idea of God’s being all perfect .Between the new science and the Scholastic Tradition .University of Montana 4 .

Rationalism 3. Conclusion Soazig Le Bihan .Outline 1. Introduction 2.University of Montana 5 . Theodicy 4.

Known by the mind only .Senses are not sufficient but are necessary triggers! Soazig Le Bihan . memory and induction  For and Against the Empiricist Eternal Truths: . necessary and eternal Senses and Reason .Superior kind of knowledge: universal.Rationalism (1) Senses and Reason Men act like animals in three quarters of their action: -Sense perception.University of Montana 6 .

but not chance Soazig Le Bihan .Rationalism (2) Eternal Truths Truths of Reasoning Necessary Analytic `All bachelors are non married’ Principle of Contradiction Truths of Facts Contingent Non-Analytic `Andrew is not married’ Principle of Sufficient Reason Truths of facts.University of Montana 7 . Contingency and Sufficient Reasons Contingency exists.

but not sufficient Taking the necessitarian challenge seriously .Rationalism (3) Conclusion Taking the empiricist challenge seriously .Senses may well be necessary for us to learn about eternal truths. but everything has a cause Soazig Le Bihan .University of Montana 8 .Not everything is necessary.

Theodicy 4. Conclusion Soazig Le Bihan .University of Montana 9 . Introduction 2.Outline 1. Rationalism 3.

e.Cosmological Argument 1: cause of contingent actualities .Ontological Argument: God as a necessary being. i.Theodicy (1) God’s Existence Proofs of God’s existence .University of Montana 10 . a being whose mere possibility implies its actuality Soazig Le Bihan .Cosmological Argument 2: cause of all possibles / essences .

Will (chose which are actual) .Infinite Understanding.Understanding (all possibles) . Will and Power . unlimited. and contains all the possibles Theodicy. Par 7: .Theodicy (2) God’s Nature Most importantly: God is all perfections Unique.University of Montana 11 .Unique Soazig Le Bihan .Power (made it actual) .

University of Montana 12 .Leibniz: arbitrariness and lack of value of the Creation / Creator  True Freedom is enlightened even for God Soazig Le Bihan .Theodicy (3) God’s Benevolence A perfect God must have created a perfect world Including morally perfect How to make sense of this? God follows the truth and the good .Opposite view: God decides on everything – truth and good included .

University of Montana 13 .Not everything is wonderful! .Perfection: the best balance between simplicity of causes and complexity of effects Soazig Le Bihan .Theodicy (4) The Creation’s Perfection We must commit to the belief that the Creation is most perfect How to make sense of this? .

Outline 1. Introduction 2. Rationalism 3. Theodicy 4. Conclusion Soazig Le Bihan .University of Montana 14 .

University of Montana 15 .Conclusion on Leibniz’ God One crucial starting point: God is all perfection An original point of view: the modal point of view Soazig Le Bihan .

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