Was Leibniz an Idealist?

Peter Loptson 


This paper raises complication for the standard interpretive view of Liebniz's mature metaphysical system as idealist. Body-realist affirmations are found in his writings up to his death, in bulk and diversity very difficult to accommodate to phenomenalist or idealist construal. Claims of Leibnizian inconsistency and indecisiveness do not seem adequately to account for them. The view that body is real for Liebniz, though not a substance, is explored. Alternative non-idealist interpretations of the system are considered, the most plausible argued to be a variety of dualism. At the same time, dialectical features of Leibnizian philosophy make it a matter of proper caution not to settle emphatically on a decided conclusion of the issue.