We will begin by spending two weeks reading the “Monadology,” which gives an overview of Leibniz’s philosophical system. The rest of the seminar will focus on the New Essays on Human Understanding, a work in which Leibniz presents his philosophical views on the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaphysics, in a detailed response to Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding. We will be especially interested in considering the significance of this work for the conflict between empiricism and rationalism, and for the development of Kant’s thought.
Required Texts: Leibniz, New Essays on Human Understanding, ed. by Remnant and Bennett (Cambridge U.P.) Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, ed. by Ariew and Garber (Hackett)
Recommended Texts: Leibniz’s Monadology , ed. by Nicholas Rescher (Pittsburgh U.P.) Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding, (Oxford U.P.) Jolley, Nicholas, Leibniz and Locke (Oxford U.P.)