Leibniz against Locke on Extension.

vendredi 1er octobre, 10h40-11h10

Résumé de la communication :

The problem of the origin of our ideas of extension, both as regards body and as regards abstract geometry, is one of the thorniest problems for both for Locke and for Leibniz. For Locke, all of our ideas, including our geometrical ideas and ideas of body are supposed to derive from experience. His account of the origin of these ideas stretches out over a number of chapters in Book II of the Essay, and exposes some of the philosophically deepest problems in his project for deriving all our ideas from experience. However, in this short presentation, I intend to concentrate on Leibniz’s contribution to the debate. Leibniz had been worrying about extension and continuity since his earliest writings. At the moment he was confronting Locke's Essay in his Nouveaux essais, his views on extension and its relation to an underlying reality of simple substances were still somewhat in flux, and uncertain. In my presentation I would like to discuss his treatment of these questions in the Nouveaux essais, particularly as they compare with what he is saying about those same issues in other texts of the same period, particularly the correspondence with the Dutch Cartesian De Volder.