Leibniz on Providence, Foreknowledge and Freedom

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst (1994)
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Commentators have long been fascinated by the problem of freedom in Leibniz's system. Many of the recent studies begin with Leibniz's views on modality, truth, and so-called superessentialism, and then investigate whether these doctrines are compatible with freedom and contingency. There is, however, another dimension to Leibniz's thinking about freedom that has been largely overlooked in the recent literature. ;Leibniz inherited a medieval debate about God's foreknowledge of and providence over human free actions, and unlike the other great philosophers of the early modern period, set out to solve it. This means the problem of human freedom for Leibniz was nested in the larger problem of God's creation, preservation, and governance of the entire created order. ;In this dissertation I set out the late medieval debate and Leibniz's adjudication of it. I argue that Leibniz offers a strong notion of providence that is a via media between the two competing paradigms of the late seventeenth century, Molinism and Banezianism. In light of these theological commitments, I offer a new assessment of Leibniz's views of divine and human freedom



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References found in this work

Leibniz's theory of the striving possibles.David Blumenfeld - 1981 - In Roger Stuart Woolhouse (ed.), Studia Leibnitiana. Oxford University Press. pp. 163 - 177.
Possible Gods.Margaret D. Wilson - 1979 - Review of Metaphysics 32 (4):717-733.
Leibniz on divine foreknowledge of future contingents and human freedom.Michael J. Murray - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1):75-108.
Two Accounts of Providence.Thomas Flint - 1988 - In Thomas V. Morris (ed.), Divine and Human Action: Essays on the Metaphysics of Theism. Cornell University Press. pp. 147-181.

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