Leibniz's Naturalized Philosophy of Mind

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2019)
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Abstract

This book is a systematic reappraisal of Leibniz’s philosophy of mind. The main argument of this book is easy to state: Leibniz offers a fully natural theory of mind. In today’s philosophical climate, in which much effort has been put into discovering a naturalized theory of mind, Leibniz’s efforts to reach a similar goal 300 years earlier will provide a critical stance from which we can assess our own theories. But while the goals might be similar, the content of Leibniz’s theory significantly diverges from the majority of today’s theories. Leibniz’s philosophy of mind meets the standards of what he would regard as a fully natural theory. Perhaps surprisingly, Leibniz’s theological commitments yield a thoroughgoing naturalizing methodology: the properties of an object are explicable in term of the object’s nature. This book argues that Leibniz pursued his philosophy of mind with this methodology in hand. If we keep this commitment to a naturalizing project in mind, then we will find in Leibniz a rich and interesting philosophy of mind. This book provides an account of Leibniz’s naturalizing constraints and traces them through Leibniz’s philosophy of mind. It covers issues relating to mental representation, perception, sensation, consciousness, memory, and moral identity.

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Author's Profile

Larry M. Jorgensen
Skidmore College

Citations of this work

Leibniz and the Molyneux Problem.Bridger Ehli - 2020 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 2 (1):8.

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References found in this work

Was Leibniz Confused about Confusion?Stephen M. Puryear - 2005 - The Leibniz Review 15:95-124.

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