Spinoza or Leibnitz
Write an essay on only one of these topics- provide full bibliographical
6- Spinoza claims that everyone has the power, partly if not absolutely, of coming to
understand themselves and their emotions, and therefore of coming to suffer less from
them (Part V, P4, Sch)-; and, this way lies some form of freedom- Is this really a way
to freedom? Is it the sort of freedom we want?
8- Spinoza rejects anthropomorphic conceptions of God and Natu’e- But is there any
other way than to experience and think in anthropomorphic terms about God and
Natue? Can we shed our human condition – or is there some way to see beyond it, or
make valid inferences or deductions beyond it, while still remaining finite and human?
9- According to Leibniz, reality consists only of minds, and everything that exists is
minded. The apple you bite into is not a mind-independent material thing; it too
ultimately is a mind, or a composite of minds- What could this mean? Isn’t this a bit
odd? Does the apple still taste like an apple if you know it’s really a mind that you are
10- According to Leibniz, there is “no complete destruction, nor any death, strictly
speaking” (Monadology, #76-77; see also #4)- “There is nothing fallow, sterile, or
dead in the universe” (#69)- If you never die, then what happens to you when you
body falls apart? ls Leibnizian immortality a good thing?
11. Leibniz writes that each monad “expresses, however confusedly, everything that
happens in the universe, whether past, present, or futu’e” (Discouse on Metaphysics,
9; see also Monadology, m-sz)- How can this be? What can he mean?