Volume 76, Issue 4, Fall 2002
Spinoza’s Parrot, Socinian Syllogisms, and Leibniz’s Metaphysics
Leibniz’s Three Strategies For Defending Christian Mysteries
This paper intends to show the connection between the theological, logical and epistemological ideas in Leibniz’s thinking. The paper will focus on the reasons for Leibniz’s fundamental decision to defend the Christian mysteries and his three different strategies for doing so. Each of these strategies is an answer to a particular challenge: to the Socinian who claims that the mysteries are contradictory; to the mechanical philosophy which denies the possibility of the mysteries, and to Spinoza’s parrot argument which demands that we be silent when we have no comprehension. Although he had already worked out his reconciliation of the Christian mysteries with the mechanical philosophy in Mainz around 1670, Leibniz first published it only in 1710 in his Théodicée.