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Appetitio
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xx Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Thread started on: Sep 15th, 2004, 2:34pm »

In her book, Leibniz's metaphysics, p. 387, Christia Mercer claims that "however much Leibniz was shocked and enthralled by Spinoza's metaphysical proposals, they could not have any serious influence on the development of his thought.

What do you think about this? I think the influences in the area of epistemology brought some metaphysical consequences, for example, in Leibniz's views of dynamic development, related to his idea of striving to perfection.
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Nihil sine ratione.
philalethes
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #1 on: Sep 21st, 2004, 5:50pm »

I think Mercer is here somehow on Leibniz's side -- he always pretended not to have much in common with the philosophers who most influenced him, especially Descartes and Spinoza. It wasn't too honest, but it's a way of pointing out the original parts of his philosophical views -- so it's at least understandable.
But is it only my impression that the question of Spinoza's influence on Leibniz's works was always treated in an exaggerated manner -- on one side or the other?

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MR
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #2 on: Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:13am »

on Sep 21st, 2004, 5:50pm, philalethes wrote:
I think Mercer is here somehow on Leibniz's side -- he always pretended not to have much in common with the philosophers who most influenced him, especially Descartes and Spinoza. It wasn't too honest, but it's a way of pointing out the original parts of his philosophical views -- so it's at least understandable.
But is it only my impression that the question of Spinoza's influence on Leibniz's works was always treated in an exaggerated manner -- on one side or the other?



You are probably right in saying that Leibniz tended to downplay his influences. However, I think it cannot be denied that Descartes, Spinoza and host of others had a serious influence on the development of his thought. They were a kind of shield which Leibniz tried to penetrate by finding a weak spot...
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Barrett Pashak
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #3 on: Mar 11th, 2005, 06:52am »

Quote:
If there weren't Monads, Spinoza would be right


-Leibniz to Louis Bourguet, Hanover, December 1714
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Appetitio
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #4 on: Mar 12th, 2005, 12:02pm »

on Mar 11th, 2005, 06:52am, Guest-Barrett Pashak wrote:
-Leibniz to Louis Bourguet, Hanover, December 1714



Yeah, forgot that bit. I think Leibniz's influences from Spinoza in the philosophy of mind are still a goldmine worth diggin for...
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Barrett Pashak
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #5 on: Dec 19th, 2005, 10:31pm »

on Mar 12th, 2005, 12:02pm, Markku Roinila wrote:
I think Leibniz's influences from Spinoza in the philosophy of mind are still a goldmine worth diggin for...


Looks like someone's done some digging. Matthew Stewart has just published The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World . According to the Publisher's Weekly review posted at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393058980/ref=pd_cmp_rvi_1_i/002-2343100-8688015?n=283155), Stewart argues that Leibniz "elaborated a metaphysics that was, at bottom, a reaction to Spinoza and collapses into Spinozism, as Stewart deftly shows."

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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #6 on: Dec 20th, 2005, 08:58am »

on Dec 19th, 2005, 10:31pm, Guest-Barrett Pashak wrote:
Looks like someone's done some digging. Matthew Stewart has just published The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World . According to the Publisher's Weekly review posted at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393058980/ref=pd_cmp_rvi_1_i/002-2343100-8688015?n=283155), Stewart argues that Leibniz "elaborated a metaphysics that was, at bottom, a reaction to Spinoza and collapses into Spinozism, as Stewart deftly shows."



Hm...sounds interesting, but I am sceptical (as far as the description goes). To my mind, all attempts to show that Leibniz's philosophy can be reduced to some other philosophers doctrines have failed for the simple reason that Leibniz adopted elements from all main trends of his time and even before his time with some original ingredients added.
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Barrett Pashak
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #7 on: Dec 20th, 2005, 5:41pm »

You may want to look at Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment, in which Spinoza is portrayed as the true founder of modernity and against whom everyone else, including Leibniz, reacted.
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MR
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #8 on: Dec 21st, 2005, 09:35am »

on Dec 20th, 2005, 5:41pm, Guest-Barrett Pashak wrote:
You may want to look at Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment, in which Spinoza is portrayed as the true founder of modernity and against whom everyone else, including Leibniz, reacted.


Thanks, I'll do that. That's an interesting thought, although I have been used to view Descartes as such a person.
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theoko
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #9 on: May 23rd, 2008, 6:25pm »

on Dec 20th, 2005, 5:41pm, Guest-Barrett Pashak wrote:
You may want to look at Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment, in which Spinoza is portrayed as the true founder of modernity and against whom everyone else, including Leibniz, reacted.


I think that's a parallel thesis to the one that runs through "The Courtier and the Heretic" mentioned above.

The notion that Leibniz wasn't influenced by Spinoza's thought doesn't wash with me. My impression is that Leibniz was aghast at the implications of Spinoza's system and felt compelled to combat aspects of it. Even rejection is a type of influence, and there were few minds during Leibniz's time that could challenge him. I think Spinoza had an influence in changing the direction of Leibniz's thinking, even if it was only to provide some sort of alternative.
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mroinila
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xx Re: Mercer on Spinoza and Leibniz
« Reply #10 on: Jun 11th, 2008, 08:57am »

on May 23rd, 2008, 6:25pm, theoko wrote:
I think that's a parallel thesis to the one that runs through "The Courtier and the Heretic" mentioned above.

The notion that Leibniz wasn't influenced by Spinoza's thought doesn't wash with me. My impression is that Leibniz was aghast at the implications of Spinoza's system and felt compelled to combat aspects of it. Even rejection is a type of influence, and there were few minds during Leibniz's time that could challenge him. I think Spinoza had an influence in changing the direction of Leibniz's thinking, even if it was only to provide some sort of alternative.


I think you are right. Leibniz clerly felt that his job was to defend the role of religious orthodoxy, at least to a degree.
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Leibniz-resources
http://www.helsinki.fi/~mroinila/leibniz.htm
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