Snippets of Modern Wisdom

SABOU, Sorin. ‘Snippets of Modern Wisdom.’ Jurnal teologic Vol 13, Nr 2 (2014): 5-27.

Abstract: These succinct snippets cover essential themes in the modern philosophy. The method is represented by Descartes, Bacon and to a certain extent Husserl. The existence of God as argued for by Descartes and the question of Being explored by Heidegger. The intention is to sketch them based on readings of primary texts. Even if the texts are short they are rich in content.
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Berkeley, God and Instrumentalism

The role of Malebranche in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche, a follower of Descartes, very influential in France, is important in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche understands ‘what is it for one thing to cause another’ in terms of necessity; it must be, when A happens, B necessary follows. Why is this? Because the only real cause in universe is God, and God sustains the world by recreating it every instant (see Malebranche 1688, 1.10; 2.4; 3.5; 3.16).

Revised Occasionalism

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Leibniz on God

The main outlook on God, by Leibniz, in his Discourse on Metaphysics, is given towards the end of his argument when he says that ‘we must think of God not only as the root cause of all substances and of all beings, but also as the leader of all persons or thinking substances, or as the absolute monarch of the most perfect city or republic - which is what the universe composed of the assembled totality of mind is’ (Leibniz 1686, 35). To this I have to add what he says at the beginning of his argument that ‘God is absolutely perfect being’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). The perfection of God applies to his power, knowledge, wisdom, and actions; they are of highest degree, he has them in ‘unlimited form’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). These three metaphors of ‘root cause’, ‘leader,’ and ‘absolute monarch’ give me the structure of the answer to the question ‘What is God?’ and the related terms of ‘all substances,’ ‘thinking substances,’ and ‘the most perfect city’ give me the elements of the answer to the second question of this assignment 'What philosophical problems is Leibniz working through his contemplation of God?'

What is God?

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