Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):250-72 (2012)

Authors
Stewart Duncan
University of Florida
Abstract
Leibniz's mill argument in 'Monadology' 17 is a well-known but puzzling argument against materialism about the mind. I approach the mill argument by considering other places where Leibniz gave similar arguments, using the same example of the machinery of a mill and reaching the same anti-materialist conclusion. In a 1702 letter to Bayle, Leibniz gave a mill argument that moves from his definition of perception (as the expression of a multitude by a simple) to the anti-materialist conclusion. Soon afterwards, in the Preface to the New Essays, Leibniz gave a different mill argument. That argument depends upon there being no arbitrary and inexplicable connections in nature, because God would not create such things. Later, in the 'Monadology', Leibniz again used the mill example in arguing against materialism. That passage too, I argue, uses an argument from inexplicability rather than from Leibniz's definition of perception
Keywords Leibniz  materialism  mill argument  New Essays  Monadology  Bayle  Toland
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2011.00017.x
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Leibniz's Mill Argument Against Mechanical Materialism Revisited.Paul Lodge - 2014 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1.
Varieties of Early Modern Materialism.Falk Wunderlich - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):797-813.
Mechanism and Materialism in Early Modern German Philosophy.Paola Rumore - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):917-939.
Materialism in the Mainstream of Early German Philosophy.Corey Dyck - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):897-916.

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