Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the final development of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s metaphysics: the theory of monads. It examines Leibniz’s arguments for monads as mindlike “simple substances,” his description of the properties of monads, and the distinction he draws among different types of monads. The remainder of the article focuses on two problems that attend Leibniz’s claim that reality ultimately consists solely of monads and their internal states (perceptions and appetitions). The first problem is whether a relation among monads can account for the supposed unity of a living body or corporeal substance; the second is whether the metaphysics of monads supports a plausible explanation of the reality of matter. With regard to the second problem, the chapter explores Leibniz’s thesis that monads are, in two senses, “requisites” of matter. It concludes with reflections on the limits of his attempt to explain the physical world in terms of monads alone.

Keywords: Leibniz, monads, substance, unity, reality, metaphysics, perception, appetition, matter, requisite

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.