Teratologia e teodicea. Il problema della generazione nel pensiero di Leibniz

Di Francesco Giampietri

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

Sezione Saggi / Articles


According to the author animal generation is a problematic issue of Leibniz’s scientific thought, because it sustains not only biological but also philosophical implications. Indeed, generation is the limit of mechanistic view of Nature, it calls into question microscopy and the most influential theories of seventeenth century (spontaneous generation, Cartesian epigenesis, ovist or animalculist preformism, pre-existence of germs), it promotes the understanding of preformation such as biological version of pre-established harmony, and finally it fixes the species (as for as species are not natural, as evidenced by the idea of the Great Chain of Being and the dynamic tensions that animate Nature). If the “monsters” betray the logic of species and compromise the natural order, then they must be redeemed. The plastic power of maternal imagination is insufficient. Medicine lets theology pass, because only a pancalistic vision of the cosmos can tame the reasons of scepticism.