Leibniz on the Labyrinth of Freedom

The Leibniz Review 13:19-43 (2003)
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Abstract

Leibniz devoted immense energy and thought to questions concerning moral responsibility and human freedom. This paper examines Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin in two important early texts - “Von der Allmacht Allmacht und Allwissenheit Gottes und der Freiheit des Menschen” and “Confessio Philosophi” - as a propaedeutic to a detailed examination of the development of Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin. In particular, my aim is to see if Leibniz’s early thinking on freedom and sin in these early writings was among those metaphysical topics about which he changed his mind. My focus is on human, not divine, freedom, and the young Leibniz’s metaphysical psychology, rather than his early efforts in theodicy. I conclude that Leibniz’s views on freedom and sin are in place as early as 1672/3, and remain relatively stable thereafter.

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