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  • Author or Editor: Arnaud Pelletier x
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Abstract

Leibniz’s metaphysics is often interpreted as being based solely on reason, so that experience would not provide a true foundation but only an analogy to it. Against this reading, this article first recalls that, according to Leibniz, experiences are necessarily implied by the demonstrative nature of metaphysics, for they take the place of an infinite chain of demonstrative steps that we cannot explain. It then argues that what he calls the two “first experiences” – namely, that “I think” and “a variety of things are always thought by me” – play a decisive role in justifying the Monadology’s key propositions that “there are substances” and “there are composites”. Although Leibniz never uses the term induction in this context, this – often neglected – role of singular first-person experiences in the grasping of universal propositions constitutes a real inductive moment in his metaphysics.

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien