An Aggregate of Substances as an External Object Leibniz on the Ontological Status of Body or Aggregate

Shohei Edamura


According to Robert M. Adams’ interpretation, Leibniz holds that an aggregate of substances exists in the mind that perceives them as one being. For Leibniz, an aggregate is dependent upon a mind since its being is realized by a mental action. Since Leibniz states that being and unity are convertible, and the unity of an aggregate is completely dependent upon mind, Adams takes Leibniz to hold that an aggregate exists in the mind. In this paper, I argue against Adams that an aggregate of substances is an external object. I show that there are passages that support this interpretation. I further make clear that substances in an aggregate have a remarkable feature in common, and it is possible that an aggregate exists in relation to a mind as an external object.


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