XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Leibniz and Kant on Existence and the Syntheticity of Existential Statements

Uygar Abaci

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala B
Data: 22 maggio 2010 - 17:00
Ultima modifica: 12 aprile 2010


I take up two questions. The first is whether Leibniz takes existential propositions to be an exception to the so called in-esse principle. I argue that for the in-esse to be a principle that applies to all true affirmative propositions including the existential ones, a strict concept-containment interpretation must be given up for a metaphysically more modest interpretation which suggests only that all true predication has some basis in the nature of things. The second question is whether Leibniz anticipates Kant’s celebrated claim that every existential propositions is synthetic? I argue that Leibniz fully anticipates the logical aspect of Kant’s claim and partly anticipates the cognitive aspect of it. Both this argument and the interpretation of the in-esse I propose make Leibniz’s implied views on the analytic/synthetic distinction look less implausible in a post-Kantian era.