Speed God Would Want University Of California Los
a) Leibniz finds critical flaws in Descartes’ and the Occasionalist views of the mind-body union:
“[–] on my view, we should not worry about how the soul1 can give some motion or some new determination to animal spirits2, since, in fact, it never them any at all, insofar as there is no proportion between mind and body, and there is nothing that can determine what degree of speed a mind can give a body, nor even what degree of speed God would want to give to a body on the occasion of the action of the mind in accordance with a certain law. The same difficulty found in the hypothesis of a real influence of soul on body, and vice versa, is also found in the hypothesis of occasional causes, insofar as we can see no connection nor can we see a foundation for any rule.” (p.83, Letter to Arnauld, April 30, 1687)
Explain (on the basis of the above) why Leibniz thinks that Descartes’ and the Occasionalist views of the mind-body union, respectively, should be rejected.
b) In which ways does Leibniz’s new theory of the soul and its union with the body attempt to evade the problems inherent in the above views?
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