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The phrases in their context!


Further, by the addition of one affirmation (reality) to the other, the positive therein is really augmented, and nothing is abstracted or withdrawn from it; hence the real in things cannot be in contradiction with or opposition to itself--and so on.
The true use of the conceptions of reflection in the employment of the understanding has, as we have shown, been so misconceived by Leibnitz, one of the most acute philosophers of either ancient or modern times, that he has been misled into the construction of a baseless system of intellectual cognition, which professes to determine its objects without the intervention of the senses.
For this reason, the exposition of the cause of the amphiboly of these conceptions, as the origin of these false principles, is of great utility in determining with certainty the proper limits of the understanding.
It is right to say whatever is affirmed or denied of the whole of a conception can be affirmed or denied of any part of it (dictum de omni et nullo); but it would be absurd so to alter this logical proposition as to say whatever is not contained in a general conception is likewise not contained in the particular conceptions which rank under it; for the latter are particular conceptions, for the very reason that their content is greater than that which is cogitated in the general conception.
And yet the whole intellectual system of Leibnitz is based upon this false principle, and with it must necessarily fall to the ground, together with all the ambiguous principles in reference to the employment of the understanding which have thence originated.
Leibnitz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles or indistinguishables is really based on the presupposition that, if in the conception of a thing a certain distinction is not to be found, it is also not to be met with in things themselves; that, consequently, all things are completely identical (numero eadem) which are not distinguishable from each other (as to quality or quantity) in our conceptions of them.
But, as in the mere conception of anything abstraction has been made of many necessary conditions of intuition, that of which abstraction has been made is rashly held to be non-existent, and nothing is attributed to the thing but what is contained in its conception.
The conception of a cubic foot of space, however I may think it, is in itself completely identical.
But two cubic feet in space are nevertheless distinct from each other from the sole fact of their being in different places (they are numero diversa); and these places are conditions of intuition, wherein the object of this conception is given, and which do not belong to the conception, but to the faculty of sensibility.
In like manner, there is in the conception of a thing no contradiction when a negative is not connected with an affirmative; and merely affirmative conceptions cannot, in conjunction, produce any negation.
But in sensuous intuition, wherein reality (take for example, motion) is given, we find conditions (opposite directions)--of which abstraction has been made in the conception of motion in general--which render possible a contradiction or opposition (not indeed of a logical kind)--and which from pure positives produce zero = 0. We are therefore not justified in saying that all reality is in perfect agreement and harmony, because no contradiction is discoverable among its conceptions.* According to mere conceptions, that which is internal is the substratum of all relations or external determinations.
When, therefore, I abstract all conditions of intuition, and confine myself solely to the conception of a thing in general, I can make abstraction of all external relations, and there must nevertheless remain a conception of that which indicates no relation, but merely internal determinations.
Now it seems to follow that in everything (substance) there is something which is absolutely internal and which antecedes all external determinations, inasmuch as it renders them possible; and that therefore this substratum is something which does not contain any external relations and is consequently simple (for corporeal things are never anything but relations, at least of their parts external to each other); and, inasmuch as we know of no other absolutely internal determinations than those of the internal sense, this substratum is not only simple, but also, analogously with our internal sense, determined through representations, that is to say, all things are properly monads, or simple beings endowed with the power of representation.
Now all this would be perfectly correct, if the conception of a thing were the only necessary condition of the presentation of objects of external intuition.
It is, on the contrary, manifest that a permanent phenomenon in space (impenetrable extension) can contain mere relations, and nothing that is absolutely internal, and yet be the primary substratum of all external perception.
By mere conceptions I cannot think anything external, without, at the same time, thinking something internal, for the reason that conceptions of relations presuppose given things, and without these are impossible.
But, as an intuition there is something (that is, space, which, with all it contains, consists of purely formal, or, indeed, real relations) which is not found in the mere conception of a thing in general, and this presents to us the substratum which could not be cognized through conceptions alone, I cannot say; because a thing cannot be represented by mere conceptions without something absolutely internal, there is also, in the things themselves which are contained under these conceptions, and in their intuition nothing external to which something absolutely internal does not serve as the foundation.
For, when we have made abstraction of all the conditions of intuition, there certainly remains in the mere conception nothing but the internal in general, through which alone the external is possible.
But this necessity, which is grounded upon abstraction alone, does not obtain in the case of things themselves, in so far as they are given in intuition with such determinations as express mere relations, without having anything internal as their foundation; for they are not things of a thing of which we can neither for they are not things in themselves, but only phenomena.
What we cognize in matter is nothing but relations (what we call its internal determinations are but comparatively internal).
But there are some self-subsistent and permanent, through which a determined object is given.