Mark KULSTAD
 

The Reflection Theory of Innateness in Leibniz's Nouveaux Essais. A reconsideration.

jeudi 30 septembre, 11h20-11h50

Résumé de la communication :

In my 1991 book on Leibniz, Leibniz on Apperception, Reflection, and Consciousness, I explored and endorsed what may be called the Reflection Theory of Innateness, drawn primarily from Leibniz's Nouveaux Essais.

The central contention of the theory is that innate ideas, and that which depends on them (which, on my reading, includes innate knowledge), are a proper subset of those ideas brought to consciousness, not by sensation, but rather by reflection, specifically, those ideas coming to consciousness by reflection on special "objects"(features of our substance) that are both always in us and immediately present to our understanding via our reflective faculty.

The theory, however, is not without its difficulties. In the present reconsideration of the reflection theory of innateness,  I develop in some detail possible objections to the theory (among others those raised by N. Jolley), and then consider whether the original theory, or the original theory in a modified form, can handle the objections.