Deficient causation in Leibniz

John Kardosh
Leibniz scholars have difficulty reconciling Leibniz's metaphysical account of causation with his theological account, since the former claims that creatures are the source of their own actions, and the latter seemingly undercuts this claim by ascribing to God all that there is of positive reality in creaturely actions. If God is the sole source of positive reality in creaturely actions, then all that is left for the creature to contribute to the causal nexus with God is negative reality
more » ... tions, but then the conclusion is close to hand that creatures are not causally efficacious. The present work avoids this conclusion by showing that, for Leibniz, the ontological status of limitation comes in degrees, and some limitations, for example those produced by free creaturely actions, though not positive realities proper, are not merely negative realities; creatures are causally efficacious insofar as they are responsible for limitations of this latter type. 44 46 Section Seven Tying Up Loose Ends: Sleigh's Unfinished Interpretation 50 Section 8 Concluding Remarks 55 End Notes 57 Bibliography 61 Abbreviations [Unless otherwise noted, in text parenthetical citations are to the page number of the work cited. All citations to texts not abbreviated here follow the standard MLA guidelines.]
doi:10.7939/r3bq53 fatcat:lgry7q5jnbh7dknfcrtp7g2vo4