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Leibniz’s Harmony between the Kingdoms of Nature and Grace

Strickland, L (2016) Leibniz’s Harmony between the Kingdoms of Nature and Grace. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 98 (3). pp. 302-329. ISSN 1613-0650

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Abstract

One of the more exotic and mysterious features of Leibniz’s later philosophical writings is the harmony between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace. In this paper, I show that this harmony is not a single doctrine, but rather a compilation of two doctrines, namely (1) that the order of nature makes possible the rewards and punishments of rational souls, and (2) that the rewards and punishments of rational souls are administered naturally. I argue that the harmony is best considered as Leibniz’s distinctive collation, development, and rebranding of these doctrines, which were not themselves unique to Leibniz, nor uncommon in the seventeenth century. There follows a detailed examination of various concrete examples of the harmony in operation, from which I show that it is essentially the culmination of Leibniz’s lifelong thinking about divine justice.

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