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„The Bohemian Leibniz“ – Logic and Metaphysics in Leibniz and Bolzano

The workshop will take place on March 31st/April 1st in Vienna.

Location: Alte Kapelle, Entrance in the passageway from Hof 1 to Hof 2, AKH Campus Spitalgasse/Alserstraße.

In case you are interested in participating, please contact Jan at jan.claas(at) .

The Program

March 31st:

10:00-11:30 – Sebastian Bender: How many PSRs? Leibniz on Intelligibility and Reasons

11:30-11:45 – Coffee

11:45-13:15 – Maria van der Schaar: Leibniz on Cogitatio Possibilis and the Sign of Assertive Force

13:15-14:30 – Lunch

14:30-16:00 – Julia Borcherding: Knowing and Necessity: Leibniz’s Epistemology of Necessary Truths

16:00-16:30 – Coffee

16:30-18:00 – Jan Claas: Conceptual Analysis and Unconscious Ideas

April 1st:

10:00-11:30 – Stefan Roski: Bolzano on Complete Causes and Causal Regularities

11:30-11:45 – Coffee

11:45-13:15 – Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra: Bolzano on the Identity of Indiscernibles

Workshop Description: Not without a reason, Bolzano once was awarded the honorary title “The Bohemian Leibniz“: Leibniz and Bolzano were among the most capable logicians of their times and Bolzano’s philosophical views were heavily influenced by Leibniz. While Leibniz’s influence on Bolzano’s views is visible, it hardly has been discussed in detail. The aim of this workshop is to improve this situation by advancing the exchange between Leibniz and Bolzano scholars on two tightly interrelated parts of their philosophical systems: Logic and Metaphysics.

Firstly, we want to discuss themes in logic, in the broadest sense, common to Leibniz and Bolzano against the background of the distinction between subjective mental states and their objective contents. Bolzano explicitly drew the distinction, focussing in much of his theoretical philosophy on abstract objective contents. Thereby he departs from an understanding of logic that focuses on mental acts or states and that, arguably, Leibniz adhered to. Nevertheless, Bolzano frequently cites Leibniz as an inspiration and he even takes the distinction to be already contained in Leibniz’s writings. In order to properly assess Leibniz’s influence and his discussion of Leibniz, we need to clarify what Leibniz’s and Bolzano’s positions on notions such as truth, knowledge, propositions or ideas were.

Secondly, Leibniz and Bolzano were famously concerned with reasons and metaphysical principles. But while Leibniz adhered to the Principle of Sufficient Reason, Bolzano was skeptical of this principle and Leibniz’s arguments for it. Concerning other Leibnizian principles, Bolzano rejects some, such as the Predicate in Subject Principle, while he accepts others, such as Mereological Atomism and the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. Since it is often assumed that Leibniz’s principles are tightly related to one another, such a partial adoption is intriguing. In order to achieve a better understanding of its tenability, we want to discuss such metaphysical principles in Leibniz and Bolzano, which are also central for their logical systems.


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