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Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles$
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Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712664.001.0001

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The Cartesian material world

The Cartesian material world

(p.127) 10 The Cartesian material world
Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Leibniz’s argument in On Nature itself against the Cartesian conception of the material world. It argues that the Identity of Indiscernibles is a premise in this argument, something some interpreters have denied. The conclusion is that this is a forceful argument against the conception of the material world as an extended homogeneous plenum. Here the Identity of Indiscernibles establishes, against the Cartesian conception, that there is an inherent motive force in bodies, and the Identity of Indiscernibles is thereby the condition of possibility of qualitative change and allows for the explanation of our sensible appearances. The chapter also discusses related arguments from Primary Truths and the letter to De Volder of 20 June 1703.

Keywords:   appearances, change, extension, force, matter, motion

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