Three Types of Spontaneity and Teleology in Leibniz

Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (4):669-698 (2015)
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Abstract

it is one of the central commitments of Leibniz’s mature metaphysics that all substances or monads possess perfect spontaneity, that is, that all states of a given monad originate within it.1 Created monads do not truly interact with each other, for Leibniz. Instead, each one produces all of its states single-handedly, requiring only God’s ordinary concurrence. Several commentators have pointed out that implicit in Leibniz’s view is a distinction between different types of spontaneity: a general type of spontaneity that all monads have perfectly and at all times, and a narrower type of spontaneity that monads possess in only some of their actions. Some commentators make a similar case for two types of teleology:..

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Julia Jorati
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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