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Bodies beyond phenomena: the substantial bond and compound substance in Leibniz

Grant number: 21/04467-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Tessa Moura Lacerda
Grantee:Beatriz Cardoso Silveira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This work intends to analyze how Leibniz's philosophy starts to consider bodies as substances from the questioning about transubstantiation raised by Fr. Des Bosses in the correspondence they maintained at the beginning of the 18th century (1704-1716). We infer that in proposing a solution to the problem of Catholic dogma from the data of his own metaphysics, Leibniz also dissolves an obstacle to his own philosophical thinking of the substantiality of bodies. The philosophical approach to transubstantiation makes it possible to define the ontological domain of compound substances through the notion of vinculum substantial, a factor responsible for the substantiation of an aggregate for the constitution of the Unum per se. This consideration of the reality of bodies distances them from the simple phenomenological sphere and the letters reiterate the objective existence of bodies beyond the subjectivity of those who observe them. For the effectiveness of the project, we deem it necessary to translate Leibniz's responses to Des Bosses, based on the book L'être et la Relation (1999) by Christiane Frémont in French and The Yale Series (2007) by Brandon C. Look and Donald Rutherford, who has the Latin text and the English translation. Then, analyze Leibniz's texts from him to indicate how the issue of transubstantiation is embraced by his metaphysics. Finally, try to present a resolution proposed by him regarding the problem of the Eucharist and, consequently, the reality of bodies. (AU)

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