Receptions of Leibniz’s Pre-established Harmony
Wolff and Baumgarten
In the debate on causality in eighteenth-century Germany, Leibniz’s theory of pre-established harmony plays a central role. This theory presupposes important metaphysical assumptions, such as the monadological structure of the world, and represents a radical alternative to the theory of physical influx. This paper provides an overview of the debate in the period between C. Wolff and A.G. Baumgarten. While the former is skeptical about the monadology and accepts pre-established harmony as a valid hypothesis only concerning the soul-body relationship, the latter endorses the monadological theory and therefore adopts pre-established harmony in its universal value. A further conclusion is that Leibniz’s Essais de Théodicée can be taken as a robust point of reference to highlight the main metaphysical topics at stake in this lively intellectual scene.