By G. W. Leibniz, Prof. Brandon Look, Professor Donald Rutherford
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Extra info for The Leibniz-Des Bosses Correspondence
Monadism, however, entails that soul-like, simple substances alone have an absolute or per se existence, from which it follows that, if other things do exist, their existence must be explained in terms of the prior existence of monads. Leibniz makes a variety of claims to De Volder about the relation of monads to matter. Some of these describe a reduction of matter and its properties to monads and their properties. Others concern the relation that any monad must have to some particular matter. 251/AG 176).
Composition and the Unity of Corporeal Substance Many of the most explicit statements of Leibniz’s theory of monads appear in the major correspondence that ends just as the Des Bosses correspondence is about to begin. In his final letter to De Volder, dated 19 January 1706, Leibniz offers the following summary of his ontology: “there can be nothing real in nature but simple substances and the aggregates that result from them. Moreover, we have acknowledged nothing but percep- Introduction l tions or their grounds in these simple substances.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Leibniz resists the opportunity to reinforce his agreement with the Jesuits on this point. ” At the same time, he stresses that this does not entail the metaphysical necessity of the effect. Although it is metaphysically necessary that any action have a determining cause, this cause is not metaphysically necessitating. 41 Des Bosses agrees that among Jesuits this is an acceptable way of characterizing God’s choice of the best: though freely made, God’s choice is morally necessary, since any other choice would be incompatible with God’s perfection.