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Justifying Leibniz, or the Infinite Patience of Reasoning

Gian Luigi Paltrinieri    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Leibniz’s Theodicy can and should be read otherwise than a naive statement of metaphysical optimism. To make this point, the Author revives some suggestions by Deleuze and contrasts them with Heidegger’s critical reading of Leibniz’s rationalism. Leibniz neither defends God simply by asserting his innocence, nor affirms that bad events are merely an unpleasant, human dream. Just as in Bach’s Art of Fugue every chord is repeated in multiple tonalities, in Leibniz’s universe each event is a moment of an infinite rational web. The best of all possible worlds is not ‘perfect’, as its harmony and order are not free from dissonances; but each dissonant chord of reality is ‘well-tempered’ through its infinite relations to all the other chords and tonalities. Two conclusions follow: that Leibniz’s view is a powerful antidote for any childish humanistic anthropomorphism; and that his teleology is in no need of progress. The best of all possible worlds is actually the world in which we live.


Keywords: EvilArbitrarinessCounterpoint

Copyright: © 2016 Gian Luigi Paltrinieri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.