Leibniz on determinateness and possible worlds

Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12469 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Leibniz argues that God doesn't create everything possible because not all possible things are compossible, that is, compatible with each other. Much recent debate has focused on Leibniz's conception of compossibility. One important aspect of this debate, which has not been examined directly, is the distinction between possible worlds and possible creations: the notion of possible world is more robust than simply whatever God can create. Many commentators have relied on this distinction without a clear formulation of it. I develop the distinction between possible worlds and possible creations by looking at how Leibniz characterizes what God is capable of creating. I argue that possible creations must be both logically consistent and determinate. Possible creations differ from possible worlds insofar as possible creations fail to be either maximal or harmonious. I conclude, therefore, that focusing on the notion of determinateness offers a new approach to answering the question why doesn't God create everything possible?



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Leibniz, Acosmism, and Incompossibility.Thomas Feeney - 2016 - In Gregory Brown & Yual Chiek (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds. Springer. pp. 145-174.
Leibniz's World-Apart Doctrine.Adam Harmer - 2016 - In Yual Chiek & Gregory Brown (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds. Springer. pp. 37-63.
Was Leibniz Entitled to Possible Worlds?Lynne Rudder Baker - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):57-74.
Leibniz’s Contemporary Modal Theodicy.Charles Joshua Horn - 2017 - Quaestiones Disputatae 7 (2):97-119.
Divine Faculties and the Puzzle of Incompossibility.Julia Jorati - 2016 - In Gregory Brown & Yual Chiek (eds.), Leibniz on Compossibility and Possible Worlds. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 175–199.
Leibniz, creation and the best of all possible worlds.Jesse R. Steinberg - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (3):123 - 133.
Leibniz.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1972 - Garden City, N.Y.,: Anchor Books.
Leibniz: a collection of critical essays.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1976 - Notre Dame [Ind.]: University of Notre Dame Press.
Compossibility.Yual Chiek - 2014 - Dissertation, Queen’s University, Kingston On
The Problem of Plurality of the World in Cosmology and Philosophy.A. M. Mostepanenko - 1983 - der 16. Weltkongress Für Philosophie 2:906-910.
Leibniz's palace of the fates: A 17th century virtual reality system.Eric Steinhart - 1997 - Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 6 (1):133-135.


Added to PP

59 (#272,686)

6 months
10 (#270,763)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Adam Harmer
University of California, Riverside

Citations of this work

The Discreteness of Matter: Leibniz on Plurality and Part-Whole Priority.Adam Harmer - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
Leibniz's Causal Road to Existential Independence.Tobias Flattery - 2023 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 1:1-28.
Les mondes possibles de Malebranche et Leibniz.Louis Pijaudier-Cabot - 2023 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 120 (4):477-493.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Critical exposition of the Philosophie of Leibniz.B. Russell - 1901 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 9 (1):9-9.
The Philosophy of Leibniz.Benson Mates - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (4):613-629.
The philosophy of Leibniz. Metaphysics and Language.Benson Mates - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 181 (1):106-107.
Leibniz, God and Necessity.Michael V. Griffin - 2012 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

View all 19 references / Add more references