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University of South Florida

Evil

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Leibniz's Theodicies, Joseph Michael Anderson Apr 2014

Leibniz's Theodicies, Joseph Michael Anderson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Evil poses a particular problem to early modern thinkers. Late scholasticism, while itself variegated, provided a number of resources for dispelling concerns about the justice of God raised by the existence of evil. With much of the metaphysics of the scholastics rejected, the new philosophers needed either to find inventive ways to make the old solutions fit into their new systems, to come up with new resources for dispelling the difficulties, or to accept the difficulties as insurmountable, likely via fideism or atheism. Leibniz, I claim, provides a provocative mixture of the first two approaches.

Many readers think Leibniz's ...