Ursula Goldenbaum (Emory, Atlanta) by yal18555


									      Leibniz - a Common Rationalist. The Empirical Approach of Rationalism

                                   Ursula Goldenbaum

Because of Kant’s critique of Rationalism we tend to conceive of Rationalism and
Empiricism as the two schools of early modern philosophy which are brought together by
Kant’s Transcendental philosophy. This view suggests that empiricism was interested
especially in experience whereas rationalism ignored experience and argued merely by
reason as mathematics does. As long as the interest in Leibniz was focused above all on
his logic there was no strong opportunity to become aware of his intensive efforts to
develop a methodological approach to experience for various empirical sciences as other
rationalists did as well. It was only within the last few years that the methodological
rationalistic approach to experience was rediscovered. Now some scholars even want to
claim that Leibniz wasn’t at all that strong a rationalist or at least that he developed two
different levels of rationality, a weak and a strong reason. I want to show that rationalism
was concerned from its very beginning with a methodological approach to experience and
that it was rationalist philosophers like Spinoza, Leibniz and Wolff who developed a
strong concept of experience whereas empiricists such as Locke appealed to experience
but without any strong concept of experience.

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