Volume 24, December 2014
Actualism and Analyticity: Leibniz's early thoughts towards a synthesis between Lutheran metaphysics and the foundation of knowledge
Recent scholarship has established that, until the mid-1670s, Leibniz did not hold the possibilist ontology which, in his mature philosophy, provides the foundation for both his account of human freedom and of eternal truth. Concentrating on the Mainz period (1667-1672), this paper examines the conciliation, in those early writings, of an actualist ontology and a conception of necessary truth as analytical. The first section questions the view that Leibniz was educated in a “Platonist” tradition; the second section presents the actualist metaphysics that he adopted in the wake of his teachers; the third section shows how Leibniz could, contrary to those same teachers, hold an analytical view of eternal truth, even without the support of his later possibilist ontology and doctrine of real definitions.