Philosophy 290-9

Spring 2010

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-9 Graduate Seminar: Leibniz’s Metaphysics Warren F 4-6 234 Moses Hall

In the first part of this seminar (approximately 6 weeks) we will examine the Discourse on Metaphysics, Leibniz’s first systematic presentation of his mature metaphysical picture. Central topics covered in this work include: the nature of substance, the containment theory of truth, the harmony between substances, necessary and contingent truth, efficient causes and teleology, activity and passivity, force and dynamical physics, the relation of mind and body. As we make our way through the Discourse, we will supplement it by further readings from related works. In the second part of the seminar (approximately 8 weeks) we will look at Leibniz’s early work, with an eye to understanding the stages through which his metaphysical views progressed and tracing the origins of the views presented in the Discourse. In this second part we will take as a guide Christia Mercer’s book, Leibniz’s Metaphysics: Its Origin and Development .