History of Modern Philosophy
History of Modern Philosophy PHIL 4020
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erick Leffler on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 4020 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Ronald Bombardi in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see /class/213180/phil-4020-middle-tennessee-state-university in PHIL-Philosophy at Middle Tennessee State University.
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Date Created: 09/23/15
PHIL 4020 HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY SPRING 2008 Leibniz39s Reduction of Res Extensa to Res Cogitans l Leibniz utilizes two sorts of argument to reject the plenum physics on which both Descartes substance dualism and Spinoza s property dualism depend The first argument re ects a bottomup strategy and consists mainly in a reinvention of the mathematical foundations of physics the second argument re ects a 39topdown strategy and consists mainly in a metaphysical analysis that reduces the concept of extended substance to absurdity 2 New Foundations Leibniz proposes to replace the basic units of physical reference bits of matterextension in motion with what he calls quotratios of forcequot energy He thus rejects the following two postulates of Cartesian Spinozist and Hobbesian physics A The plenum is composed of discreta B The fundamental law of mechanics is the Conservation of Momentum The overall quantity of motion in the universe remains constant over time when something speeds up or increases in mass something else slows down or decreases in mass Leibniz proposes instead C The plenum is composed of continua D The fundamental law of mechanics is the Conservation of Kinetic Action 3 Leibniz argues that the old physics fails to predict phenomena correctly it implies that all motion is circular and instantaneous when in fact observation records rectilinear continuous motion His point is that if bodies are the fundamental units of physical science and bodies are definable as discrete regions of space then motion is the passage of a body through a definite number of intermediate places But accelerated motion cannot be so described since the velocity is continuously increasing at a given time so motion doesn39t happen in leaps but continuously quotBody in motionquot is just a derivative conceptthe primary concept is continuum of energy The units of physics are then infmitely small quanta of force each unit is therefore a simple not composite what Leibniz calls a monaal 4 Substance Leibniz also argues on metaphysical grounds that substance must by simple since no physical things are simple no physical things are substances In a letter to Amauld Leibniz offers the following analogy Is an army a substance One might think so but in fact it is simply a number of soldiers interrelated in certain waysthe whole truth about the army can be expressed without residue in sentences of the form Fa1 a2 an In general true assertions about aggregates are similarly reduced to assertions about constituent parts Concerning extension Leibniz argues that anything with parts is an aggregate and that extended objects are by definition pars ex partes and therefore aggregate in Jonathan Bennett s phrase a diamond is on a par with a ock of sheep but to scatter it you have to bark louder Extension must reduce then to simples LEIBNIZIAN REDUCTION ISM BOMBARDI
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