Det goda livets metafysik: Leibniz om det mänskliga goda, perfektion, och lycka

Tidsperiod: 2014-01-01 till 2017-12-31

Projektledare: Peter Myrdal

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 1 275 000 SEK

Contemporary ethics is mainly concerned with our conduct towards, and obligations to, each other. A different approach dominated much of the history of Western philosophy, an approach focusing on what it is for our lives to go well. Kant famously played a central role in the reorientation of ethical thought and his main target was G. W. Leibniz (1646-1716), whose system can be said to constitute the end-point of traditional ethics. Yet despite its key historical importance Leibniz´s ethics has received little sustained scholarly attention. The aim of the present project is to offer a pioneering study of Leibniz´s ethics. But the significance of the present project is not merely historical. Leibniz develops a theory of the good life centered on self-perfection, conceived in terms of understanding. Moreover, he argues for a close connection between understanding and pleasure, and also holds self-perfection to be the basis for morality. These claims will at first sight seem alien to us. And this is also what makes the present study philosophical important: Leibniz´s metaphysical perfectionism constitutes a sophisticated alternative approach to ethics. A fuller understanding of Leibniz´s ethics will help us to see more clearly the assumptions that underlie our present concerns. The research will be carried out at Uppsala University and UCLA, and will result in one monograph, as well as at least four papers to be presented at conferences and published in international journals.