Abstract

While it is well known that Leibniz and Berkeley adopted versions of phenomenalism, it is less well known that both thinkers also believed that knowledge of phenomenal nature, via the mechanical philosophy, is a necessary condition for human happiness. Yet an examination of their respective accounts of happiness reveals weighty differences, and these differences are rooted in their respective phenomenalisms. The upshot is the somewhat surprising conclusion that adhering to a certain type of phenomenalism can place restrictions on one’s account of human happiness, for Berkeley could not, by the very logic of his phenomenalism, embrace Leibniz’s views on human happiness, nor could Leibniz embrace Berkeley’s. This is significant not only for understanding the systems of Leibniz and Berkeley, but it also illuminates any view that grounds the science of happiness in knowledge of a “material” world that is in some sense mind-dependent.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 57-78
Launched on MUSE
2007-02-27
Open Access
No
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