Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Professor A. Shalom
This thesis is an investigation of the nature and foundation of freedom in Leibniz's self-avowedly deterministic metaphysics. The carrying out of this investigation requires an over-all evaluation of Leibniz's Rationalism. This evaluation is obtained by placing Leibniz in the perspective provided by an examination of Rationalism's prior development in the thought of Descartes and Spinoza.
Throughout the thesis, as a results of this particular approach, attention is focussed not only on Rationalist metaphysics, but on methodology as well, especially in terms of how the two reflect each other.
The thesis concludes by presenting the nature of freedom, and of Leibniz's Rationalism generally, as springing from the fundamental ambiguity of the relationship between the laws of reason and God (viewed as both the source of Creation and the object of worship). As such, the relationship between freedom and determinism in Leibniz's philosophy must be regarded as depending finally on unclarified aspects of his ontological views.
Cole, Wayne Douglas, "The Foundations of Freedom in Leibniz's Metaphysics" (1978). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 348.