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