Leibniz on Hobbes’s Materialism

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):11-18 (2010)
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Abstract

I consider Leibniz's thoughts about Hobbes's materialism, focusing on his less-discussed later thoughts about the topic. Leibniz understood Hobbes to have argued for his materialism from his imagistic theory of ideas. Leibniz offered several criticisms of this argument and the resulting materialism itself. Several of these criticisms occur in texts in which Leibniz was engaging with the generation of British philosophers after Hobbes. Of particular interest is Leibniz's correspondence with Damaris Masham. Leibniz may have been trying to communicate with Locke, but ended up discussing Masham's version of the argument for materialism that Leibniz attributed to Hobbes.

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Stewart Duncan
University at Buffalo

Citations of this work

Hobbes, Universal Names, and Nominalism.Stewart Duncan - 2017 - In Stefano Di Bella & Tad M. Schmaltz (eds.), The Problem of Universals in Early Modern Philosophy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Reflection, Intelligibility, and Leibniz’s Case Against Materialism.Julia Borcherding - 2018 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 21 (1):44-68.
Animal life and mind in Hobbes’s philosophy of nature.Emre Ebetürk - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (4):69.

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References found in this work

An essay concerning human understanding.John Locke - 1689 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Pauline Phemister.
The philosophical writings of Descartes.René Descartes - 1984 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
New Essays on Human Understanding.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Peter Remnant & Jonathan Bennett.

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