In Platonia (according to Leibniz's metaphysics), every explanation is a cause !
Leibniz's principle (which has it ancestors principally in Stoicism) is this:
“Whatever is fundamentally explanatory must be an active principle”
(Shapere, 45). The purely passive cannot do anything unless it is acted upon.
At times, Leibniz seems to think that only the truly active exists: “we can
from the inner truths of metaphysics that what is not active is nothing, for
there is no such thing as a mere potentiality to act without any initial action”
(“On the True Method in Philosophy and Theology” W 64 (1686)). If all things
that exist are substances, and the essence of substance is activity, then
“substances” do not truly exist, since they are passive, that is, not active
Consider this especially clear passage where Leibniz not only attributes causal
or activity to finite substances, but also causal efficiency or productivity:
"Bayle asserts, for instance, that by purely philosophical meditations one can
attain to an established certainty that we are the efficient cause
[la cause efficiente] of our volitions. But this is a point which I do not
concede to him:
for the establishment of this system demonstrates beyond a doubt that in the
of nature each substance is the sole cause of all its actions, and that it is
free of all
physical influence from every other substance, save the customary cooperation
God. (Theodicy §300)
Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
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