Divine Concurrence in Leibniz
Various aspects of the problem of causation in contemporary philosophy have foundations in the work of philosophers of the 17th century. One prominent figure from that period, G.W. Leibniz, asked some of the same questions about causation that we still ask today, such as: can we formulate, in general terms the conditions under which one event causes another? Leibniz claims to have solved the problems of causation, but only provides the barest outline of his solution. I offer a new analysis of some central texts that reveal Leivniz’s full account of causation. I argue that this account incorporates core aspects of his metaphysics, including the spontaneously active monad and Leibniz’s commitment to God as creator and sustainer of the world. Leibniz holds divine concurrence: natural events are caused by God (utilizing a special kind of divine activity) and a substance. God and the substance act jointly as a single cause.
McAlinden, Laura (2005). Divine Concurrence in Leibniz. CARS Summer Grants. Item 111.