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Leibniz' Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese and the Leibniz-Clarke Controversy

Leibniz' Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese and the Leibniz-Clarke Controversy Leibniz was writing his Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese as the Leibniz-Clarke Controversy developed. Both were terminated by his death. These two fronts show interesting doctrinal correlations. The first is Leibniz' concern for the ''decadence of natural religion.'' The dispute with Clarke began with it, and the Discourse is a defense of Chinese natural religion in order to show its agreement with Christian natural religion. The Controversy can be summed up as ''clockmaker God versus idle God.'' Leibniz wants to escape from the perverse consequences that all criticism of divine voluntarism seems to cause. Thus, his elaboration is directed at a distinct concept of a God that rules without interposing, a supramundane intelligence. And the Leibnizian interpretation of the natural theology of the Chinese can be viewed the same way: it emphasizes a First Principle, Li, which rules without interposing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Leibniz' Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese and the Leibniz-Clarke Controversy

Philosophy East and West , Volume 53 (1) – Mar 24, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898
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Abstract

Leibniz was writing his Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese as the Leibniz-Clarke Controversy developed. Both were terminated by his death. These two fronts show interesting doctrinal correlations. The first is Leibniz' concern for the ''decadence of natural religion.'' The dispute with Clarke began with it, and the Discourse is a defense of Chinese natural religion in order to show its agreement with Christian natural religion. The Controversy can be summed up as ''clockmaker God versus idle God.'' Leibniz wants to escape from the perverse consequences that all criticism of divine voluntarism seems to cause. Thus, his elaboration is directed at a distinct concept of a God that rules without interposing, a supramundane intelligence. And the Leibnizian interpretation of the natural theology of the Chinese can be viewed the same way: it emphasizes a First Principle, Li, which rules without interposing.

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 24, 2003

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