Leibniz: An Introduction by C. D. Broad

By C. D. Broad

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1 This interpretation seems t o me t o be supported b y the f o l l o w i n g quotation f r o m p. 21 o f C o u t u r a t ' s Fragments. Leibniz says there: ' I t 2 1 ( G . , I I , 4 6 . M a s o n , 50. C f . G . , I I , 12. ' (2) Leibniz draws a distinction between m e n i n this life, o n the one hand, and angels andjust m e n made perfect, o n the other. H e says that it is impossible that any person should choose w h a t appears t o h i m at the t i m e t o be the worse o f t w o alternatives.

38 LEIBNIZ: AN INTRODUCTION hopeless; for the string and the glue are substances, and n o t attributes, just as m u c h as t h e b i t s o f w o o d themselves. B u t criticisms o n the defects o f a certain very crude w a y o f p i c t u r i n g the n o t i o n o f re­ lationships, and o n the absurd implications w h i c h i t has i f taken liter­ ally, are not fatal t o the n o t i o n itself. (3) I t seems t o me that a true relational sentence expresses something genuine w h i c h w o u l d be left unexpressed i f one merely made state­ ments about the qualities o f the terms.

B u t (b) however m u c h y o u r knowledge o n these matters m i g h t be increased, i t w o u l d be insufficient t o enable y o u t o make a prediction w h i c h w o u l d be absolutely certain barring miracles. 1 This interpretation seems t o me t o be supported b y the f o l l o w i n g quotation f r o m p. 21 o f C o u t u r a t ' s Fragments. Leibniz says there: ' I t 2 1 ( G . , I I , 4 6 . M a s o n , 50. C f . G . , I I , 12. ' (2) Leibniz draws a distinction between m e n i n this life, o n the one hand, and angels andjust m e n made perfect, o n the other.

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