Identità temporale e unità funzionale del corpo organico. Sul ruolo delle macchine naturali nella filosofia di Leibniz

Di Federico Silvestri

In: Verifiche Anno XLI, N.4, 2012 XLI , No. 4 ( 2012 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


The paper aims at showing the role played in Leibniz’s philosophy by organic bodies in the constitution of the physical world in virtue of their property of expressing fundamental characters of simple substances. Starting from a sketch of conditions for metaphysical identity, I argue that notwithstanding the mereological paradoxes arising from the constitutive plurality of bodies, temporal (but not metaphysical) identity is intrinsic to organic bodies. I then turn to the various types of unity that may be attributed to organic bodies: spatial, dynamical and functional, concluding that these abstract forms of unity make organic bodies capable of expressing metaphysical unity of simple substances. The last paragraph shows how functional unity allows us to consider organic bodies as the condition for the existence of inorganic bodies and, thereof, the basic elements of the physical world.
In the last few lines I suggest that functional unity should be regarded as the phenomenal expression of the relations of dominance and submission among monads.