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Volume 47 • Number 1

January 2010



Leibniz's Best World Claim Restructured

by William C. Lane

Almost uniquely among philosophers, Gottfried Leibniz tried to reason from God's nature to a description of the physical world. He began by observing that the world could have only "one source, because of the interconnection among all . . . things" (1989, p. 152). This source must be God, who would select only the best of worlds: "If only we could sufficiently understand the order of the universe, we should find that it surpasses all the desires of the wisest, and that it is impossible to make it better than it is" (1991, 90, p. 29). Leibniz's rationale was clear: "This is the cause of the existence of the best: that his wisdom makes it known to God, his goodness makes him choose it, and his power lets him produce it" (1991, 55, p. 24).

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ISSN: 2152-1123