Philosophy 202
Great Traditions of Western Thought
The Modern Period

Discussion Question on Leibniz #1 

Leibniz is a difficult philosopher to understand because his writings are quite compact and rather hermetic.  I have therefore asked you to begin by reading the Introduction to his discussion of Locke's Essay.  Then, you are to begin a careful reading of the Monadology.  It is very difficult, so read it carefully.  

1. Leibniz argues that the senses are insufficient to ground knowledge. What types of knowledge are there that the senses cannot provide? Why are the senses inadequate in regards to those types of knowledge?

2. Locke claimed that there was nothing in the intellect that was not previously in the senses. What is Leibniz' rsponse?

3. According to Leibniz, what is it that makes an individual the specific individual it is?

4. Does it make sense to say, as Leibniz does, that there are things in the mind that are not perceived?

5. Monads are the basic elements of Leibniz' metaphysics. What does he mean by this term?

6. How are monads distinguished from one another?

7. What does it mean to say that a monad is a window on the world?

8. Make sure you understand the following terms, as Leibniz uses them:  perception, apperception, appetition, entelechy.

 Phil 202 Home Page | Description | Syllabus | Requirements | Discussion Questions
 Office Hours |  Links | Debate Format | Class Web Board | Debate Web Boards