The Leibniz Review 26:99-127 (2016)

Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University
I propose a straightforward reconciliation of Leibniz’s conception of bodies as aggregates of simple substances (i.e., monads) with his doctrine that bodies are the phenomena of perceivers, without in the process saddling him with any equivocations. The reconciliation relies on the familiar idea that in Leibniz’s idiolect, an aggregate of Fs is that which immediately presupposes those Fs, or in other words, has those Fs as immediate requisites. But I take this idea in a new direction. Taking notice of the fact that Leibniz speaks of three respects in which one thing may immediately presuppose others--i.e., with respect to its being, its existence, and its reality--I argue that a phenomenon having its being in one perceiving substance (monad) can plausibly be understood to presuppose other perceiving substances (monads) in two of these respects. Accordingly, good sense can be made of both the claim that a phenomenon in one monad is an aggregate of other monads (in Leibniz’s technical sense of 'aggregate') and the (equivalent) claim that the latter monads are constituents of the phenomenon (in his technical sense of 'constituent'). So understood, the two conceptions of body are perfectly compatible, just as Leibniz seems to think.
Keywords Leibniz  body  monad  phenomenon  aggregate  substance
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Reprint years 2016
ISBN(s) 1524-1556
DOI 10.5840/leibniz2016265
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References found in this work BETA

Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad.Daniel Garber - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

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Monads at the Bottom, Monads at the Top, Monads All Over.Ohad Nachtomy - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (1):197-207.

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