De summa rerum by Leibniz, G. W.; Parkinson, G. H. R. (trans.)

By Leibniz, G. W.; Parkinson, G. H. R. (trans.)

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Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics: and the Letter to Marcus Herz, February 1772 (2nd Edition)

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James W. Ellington (tr. )

This variation of Prolegomena comprises Kant’s letter of February, 1772 to Marcus Herz, a momentous record during which Kant relates the growth of his pondering and pronounces that he's now able to current a critique of natural reason.

Description of the Work

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It might not be out of place to observe, in connection with what has just been said on the subject of human intelligence, that the reduction of intellect to reason-which is the fallacy of rationalism-might well constitute the prime offense, not just of Rene Descartes and his more immediate f~llowers, but perhaps of modern philosophy in general. For even the anti-rationalist schools, such as pragmatism and existentialism, seem to presuppose the REDISCOVERING THE CORPOREAL WORLD 23 same reduction, the same rationalist denial of intellect.

Contrary to what nominalists have been preaching for centuries, it is 'the universal in the particular' that bestows upon the particular its measure of being, which moreover coincides with its 'intelligible aspect'. And this implies that physics is in reality concerned, not with particular existents as such, but with particulars insofar as these exhibit a universal principle or law. Whatever may be left over remains of necessity unknown. Thus, what physics seeks, and is able to grasp in its own fashion, is the necessary in the contingent, or the eternal in the ephemeral, as one can also say.

It comes down to this: There can be no knowledge of the physical domain without presentation -even as there can be no knowledge of the corporeal world in the absence of sense perception. There is no way, of course, to convince the die-hard skeptic that the physical universe exists in the first place, let alone that it can be known; and it is always possible, certainly, to relapse into a positivistic reductionism. Suffice it to say, however, that one cannot avoid the idea of presentation-except at the cost of the physical universe.

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