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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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Some early texts

Some early texts

(p.38) 3 Some early texts
Leibniz’s Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles

Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses some of Leibniz’s early texts: the Disputatio Metaphysica de Principio Individui, The Confession of a Philosopher, A Meditation on the Principle of the Individual, and Notes on Science and Metaphysics. The Confession is a text where Leibniz explicitly rejected the Identity of Indiscernibles. The chapter’s position on the Disputatio is that, contrary to what some have thought, Leibniz is not there committed to the Identity of Indiscernibles. The chapter focuses on the Meditation (1676), which is possibly the earliest text where Leibniz makes a full and explicit endorsement of the Identity of Indiscernibles. The chapter argues that the argument of the Meditation supports the strong necessity of the Identity of Indiscernibles, namely that necessarily there are no indiscernible possibilia. It also argues that the Notes contain an implicit commitment to the Identity of Indiscernibles, and that there Leibniz relies on this commitment to argue for God’s uniqueness.

Keywords:   cause, effect, God, matter, mind, principle of individuation, whole entity

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