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By Paul Redding

Normal debts of nineteenth-century German philosophy frequently commence with Kant and check philosophers after him in gentle in their responses to Kantian idealism. In Continental Idealism, Paul Redding argues that the tale of German idealism starts off with Leibniz. Redding starts by means of studying Leibniz's dispute with Newton over the character of house, time and God, and stresses the way Leibniz included Platonic and Aristotelian parts in his unique model of idealism. Redding indicates how Kant's interpretation of Leibniz's perspectives of area and time accordingly formed his personal 'transcendental' model of idealism. faraway from finishing right here, besides the fact that, Redding argues that post-Kantian idealists reminiscent of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel at the one hand and metaphysical sceptics akin to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche at the different endured to combat with a sort of idealism finally derived from Leibniz. Continental Idealism deals not just a brand new photograph of 1 of an important philosophical activities within the background of philosophy, but in addition a invaluable and transparent advent to the origins of Continental and ecu philosophy.

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Extra info for Continental Idealism: Leibniz to Nietzsche

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The content of the will is simply something given. In his opposition to voluntarism in its theological and secular forms, Leibniz appealed to Aristotelian and Platonist considerations, but here as elsewhere this was done in a way that attempted to reconcile this mode of thought with the type of thought that was characteristically modern. These attempts were not without their problems, and in many ways Kant’s later approach to the will with its similar opposition to psychological voluntarism of the Hobbesian variety appears to have been an attempt to get beyond those problems.

He is most well known as the author of three “Critiques”— the Critique of Pure Reason (of 1781 and 1787), the Critique of Practical Reason (of 1788), which followed another work on moral philosophy, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), and the Critique of Judgment (1791)— throughout which he developed his so-called “transcendental idealism”. In his earlier “pre-critical” philosophy, Kant put forward a type of natural philosophy which combined elements of Leibniz’s metaphysics (transmitted mainly through the influence of Christian Wolff, the most influential of Leibniz’s German followers) with elements of a natural philosophy associated with Newton (again, transmitted through the influence of earlier German philosophers).

Monads, then, could not be conceived as existing in space and time, because this latter conception presupposes the independent existence of the spatiotemporal framework that the monads are “in”. As with his general theory, Kant here too combined elements of Leibniz’s and Newton’s respective positions in what ultimately proved to be an unstable combination. For Newton, material bodies occupied space, but Kant thought of physical monads themselves as simple, indivisible and without the extension needed to be space occupying.

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