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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophical reflections on the theory of relations and universal harmony. It first outlines the scholastic background of the doctrines concerning the ontology of relations. It turns then to Leibniz and his development of a theory of relations based on the ideas of Pierre Du Moulin and Caspar Bartholinus. More specifically, it examines Leibniz’s explicit characterization of the “mental” nature of relations using the Latin word concogitabilitas (co-thinkability), according to which a relation arises when several things are thought of simultaneously. The chapter also considers Leibniz’s views on the nature of relations “outside the subjects,” relational predicates, relational properties and their foundations, and a class of predicates known as extrinsic denominations. Finally, it analyzes Leibniz’s idea of harmony and pre-established harmony.

Keywords: Leibniz, theory of relations, universal harmony, Pierre Du Moulin, Caspar Bartholinus, concogitabilitas, relational predicates, relational properties, extrinsic denominations, pre-established harmony

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