On Kant’s Knowledge of Leibniz’ Metaphysics—a Reply to Garber

Philosophia 43 (4):1147-1155 (2015)
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Abstract

Daniel Garber has put forward an argument that aims to show that Kant’s understanding of Leibniz’ metaphysics should be discounted because he could only have had access to a small and narrow sample of Leibniz’ works from around 1710–1714. In particular, Garber argues that as Kant could not have read Leibniz’ correspondence with Arnauld or his correspondence with Des Bosses he could not have had an adequate conception of Leibniz’ understanding of the relation between substance and body. I will show that Kant could have read some of the Arnauld correspondence and practically all of the Des Bosses correspondence, as well as a number of other related texts that are important for understanding Leibniz’ metaphysics, over a decade before writing the Critique of Pure Reason. Garber’s historical-textual argument for dismissing Kant’s account of Leibniz’ metaphysics is therefore seriously misleading

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