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Anima Mundi: The Rise of the World Soul Theory in Modern by Miklós Vassányi

By Miklós Vassányi

First affirmed by means of Plato, the concept that of the area as a cosmic dwelling being, possessed of a soul, received nice significance within the Stoic and Neo-Platonic philosophical faculties. a number of medieval philosophers displayed an curiosity during this idea of the realm soul, which retained its beautiful strength even into the Renaissance. even if, the top early glossy rationalists, in particular Leibniz, came upon the realm soul philosophically unacceptable. Why and the way then did the German Romantics of the past due 1700s and early 1800s – initially Franz von Baader and Schelling – come resolutely to posit the life of the realm soul? In Anima Mundi: the increase of the realm Soul idea in smooth German Philosophy , Miklós Vassányi exhibits that the metaphysical aspirations of the early German Romantics couldn't be happy by way of the Leibnizian suggestion of a God past the area. strong as Leibniz’s argument is whilst basically the life of God is taken into account, it fails to convincingly account for the presence of God in the international, and for the cohesion of the realm. the elemental existential event of the Romantics was once that God is straight away found in Nature, that God and Nature represent an indissoluble Absolute. the simplest philosophical device to articulate their conception of the interpenetration of the Finite and the endless was once a thought of the soul of the world.

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Of non-human bodies). , p. 509; cf. also p. 511 on the divine mind as consisting of the ideas of all things). 4 As he put it in De arcanis sublimium: It seems that there is… some most perfect mind, or God. 6 But Leibniz’s position was going to change soon, apparently even in the course of the very same year of 1676. The sudden change of attitude is attested by On the Origin of Things from the Forms (De origine rerum ex formis), written probably in April 1676. Here Leibniz voices the argument that a hypothetical anima mundi cannot be an aggregate of individual souls.

As Wolff says in § 83 of Part I, 1 of his Theologia naturalis: God is a simple being, and áthereforeñ can not be corporeal. For God is a being by itself (§ 67). But a being by itself is a simple being (§ 49). Hence, God too is a simple being. Further, a being by itself can not be made up of parts (§ 47), so God can not be made up of parts either. 12 God’s aseity, in turn, flows from God’s being the ens necessarium, a concept that is explained by Wolff (in concord with the Leibnizian cosmological argument) as ‘the sufficient reason of the existence of this visible world and of our souls’ (ratio sufficiens existentiae mundi hujus adspectabilis & animarum nostrarum, § 67).

Section 6 of Chapter 3 will investigate what may be called his specific argument against the world soul theory. 3 Baumgarten: Metaphysica (11739) Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s (1714–1762) Metaphysica (11739)15 shuns the explicit philosophical treatment of our topic; it makes only one or two remarks that can indirectly be applied to the problem of the world soul. e. through the active forces of finite individual substances, God is the ultimate efficient cause of all events that happen in the world).

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