ADVANTAGES

Even for Leibniz, whose later monadological metaphysics was perhapscloser to Berkeley’s immaterialist philosophy, an opposition tomaterialism didn’t necessarily imply immaterialism. Leibniz hadresisted Descartes’ postulation of distinct spiritual andmaterial substances, treating corporeal bodies as inseparablecombinations of form and matter after the manner of Aristotle. Thematerialists to which he was opposed (mechanistic corpuscularists ofhis time) conceived of unformed matter as a type of self-subsistentsubstance, and it seems to have been that conception to whichhe was opposed, at least in some periods of his work, not the realityof matter per se. Leibniz’s combination of Platonic andAristotelian notions played a role in the thought of the lateridealists, giving their opposition to materialism its distinctivecharacter. These anti-immaterialist features of the idealism of theGermans became more prominent in the post-Kantian period as the movedprogressively away from the more subjectivistic features ofLeibniz’s thought (Beiser 2002).

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