We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
Leibniz's Argument for Primitive Concepts
Abstract

On its face, Leibniz's argument for primitive concepts seems to imply that unless we can analyze non-primitive concepts into their primitive constituents, we cannot grasp them. This implication, together with Leibniz's belief that we do conceive of some non-primitive concepts, entails that we can analyze some non-primitive concepts into their primitive components. However, Leibniz claims elsewhere that we are incapable of doing this. To resolve this inconsistency, I argue that, for Leibniz, grasping a concept is not an all-or-nothing affair; instead we possess concepts in degrees. When reinterpreted in line with this, Leibniz's argument can avoid the inconsistency.