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Objectivity, Impartiality, and Hermeneutics in the Leibnizian-Wolffian Debates between 1720 and 1750

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Chapter Summary

The debates between Wolffians and Newtonians continued controversies between Leibniz and Newton on physical and metaphysical subjects, i.e., among others, on the question of whether mathematical notion of space can be transferred to reality, like Newton once maintained with his famous definition of space as sensorium Dei. And whether space is rather an organizing instrument of human mind representing simultaneous order of things in terms of spatial relations, as Leibniz and his follower Wolff claimed. The struggles between Wolff and the Pietist theologians in Halle, who accused Wolff of fatalism and atheism, had a much stronger impact on Wolff's biography than his discussions with the Newtonian mathematicians. This chapter examines the Christian Wolff's use of the word or concept of impartiality within these contexts and debates more systematically. This systematic approach serves to shed more light on impartiality and, perhaps, make a contribution to prehistory of modern objectivity.

Keywords: atheism; fatalism; impartiality; Leibniz; modern objectivity; Newtonians; Wolffians



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