Abstract:Leibniz has almost universally been represented as denying that created substances, including human minds and the souls of animals, can causally interact either with one another or with bodies. Yet he frequently claims that such substances are capable of interacting in the special sense of what he calls 'ideal' interaction. In order to reconcile these claims with their favored interpretation, proponents of the traditional reading often suppose that ideal action is not in fact a genuine form of causation but instead a merely apparent influence which serves to 'save the appearances.' I argue that this traditional reading distorts Leibniz's thought and that he actually considers ideal action a genuine (though non-standard) form of causation.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: North Carolina State University,
Publication date: December 1, 2010