Leibniz’in Erken Dönem Çalışmalarında Hareket ve SüreklilikAli Suat Gözcü
Leibniz’in erken dönemindeki bazı çalışmalarına bakıldığında, cisimlerin doğası ve zihin ile beden ayrımıyla ilgili oldukça önemli tartışmalara girdiği görülebilir. Leibniz, özellikle 1668 ile 1671 yılları arasındaki çalışmalarında, cisimlerin sonsuz bölündüklerine ilişkin görüşlere karşı çıkarak, cisimlerin parçalarının daha fazla bölünmeyen sonsuz küçüklerden oluştuğunu ve bu parçaların bir büyüklüğünün olduğunu ileri sürer. Leibniz bu görüşünü sonraki çalışmalarında cisimsel tözler bağlamında savunmayı sürdürür ve özellikle Descartes’ın cisimlerin uzanımsal parçalara bölünebildiği yönündeki görüşüne karşı çıkarak, bölünebilirliğin cisimsel tözlerin özelliği olmadığını ileri sürer. Aynı şekilde, 1672 sonrasındaki çalışmalarında Leibniz, yalnızca yayılımlı cisimler bölünebildiğini ve bölünebilir cisimlerin de bölünemeyen tözlerden oluştuğunu ortaya koyar. Ancak Leibniz erken döneminden sonra savunmayı sürdürdüğü bu savlarının temelindeki ontolojik ön kabullere, bölünmeyen parçaların bir araya gelmelerini açıklayabilmek için zihnin bazı işlevlerini de ekler. Leibniz’in bu geçişinin de izlerini erken dönem çalışmalarında görebiliriz. Bu çalışmada üzerinde durulacağı gibi, Leibniz 1671’de cisimlerin hareketlerini açıklamak için hem cisimde hem de zihinde bulunan iki farklı dayanak ortaya koyar. Böylelikle, Leibniz’e göre cisimler kendilerinde bulunan conatus’ları yoluyla hareket eder. Bu varsayımla birlikte, her bir cismin kendinde hareket etme gücü vardır. Bunun yanında, Leibniz cisimlerin hareketlerinin sürekliliğini ve ardışıklığını açıklamak için zihnin çeşitli işlevlerine başvurur. Bu çalışmada gösterileceği gibi, Leibniz’e göre, cisimlerin süreklilikleri zihnin anımsama gücüyle sağlanabilir. Bu bakımdan Leibniz cisimlerin hareketlerinin sürekliliği için zihni önvarsayar. Buna göre, bu çalışmada Leibniz’in hem cisimlerin hareketleri ve süreklilikleriyle ilgili görüşleri üzerinde durulacak hem de zihni hangi anlamda a priori olarak düşündüğü ve cisimlerden ayırdığı gösterilmeye çalışılacaktır.
Motion and Continuity in Leibniz’s Early WorksAli Suat Gözcü
When considering some of Leibniz’s early works, he is seen to have been engaged in very important debates about the nature of bodies and the distinction between mind and body. Leibniz opposed the view that bodies are infinitely divided, especially in his works between 1668 and 1671, and argued that the parts of bodies are composed of infinitesimal indivisible parts that have magnitudes. Leibniz continued to defend this view in his later works in the context of bodily substances. In particular, he argued against Descarte’s view that bodies can be divided into extensional parts, arguing that divisibility is not a property of bodily substances. Likewise, Leibniz post-1672 work showed that only extensional bodies are divisible and that divisible bodies are composed of indivisible entities. However, Leibniz added some mental functions to the ontological presuppositions underlying these arguments, which he continued to defend past his early period in order to explain how indivisible parts come together. Traces of this transition can be seen in Leibniz’s early works. As this study will emphasize, Leibniz introduced two different frameworks in 1671 for explaining the motions of bodies, both in the body and in the mind. With this assumption, all bodies have the inherent power to move. Leibniz also appealed to various functions of the mind for explaining the continuity and succession of the motions of bodies. As this study will show, the continuity of objects is achievable according to Leibniz through the mind’s power to recollect. In this respect, Leibniz presupposed the mind for the continuity of the motions of bodies. Accordingly, this study will focus on Leibniz’s views on the motions and continuity of bodies and attempt to show in what sense he considered the mind a priori and separated from objects.
In his early works, Leibniz focused on two fundamental problems related to bodies. The first problem was in regard to how bodies change their position through motion and in this way successively occupy the space between their changed positions. The second problem involved the statement that, if bodies have extension and magnitude, they are infinitely divisible, no matter how small they are. In his works between 1668 and 1672, Leibniz argued that the infinite division of bodies means that bodies have an infinite number of parts, and these parts are composed of points that cannot be further divided. In 1671, Leibniz emphasized both that the constituent parts of bodies are in continuity and consist of infinite parts and also that these parts must have a magnitude. According to him, things without magnitude cannot have a position in space and therefore no minimum exists in relation to things that lack magnitude. Therefore, according to Leibniz, infinite division is impossible. Leibniz called these parts infinitesimals that cannot be further divided and stated them to have no parts.
Leibniz believed that bodies, space, time, and motion persist. According to Leibniz, if a beginning is to be sought for persisting bodies, and likewise for space, time, and motion, then no part of them must be removed. To him, bodies and parts of space must have a position and connection with one another.
For Leibniz, in order to explain the beginning and end of motion, one must assume that no extension, no part, and no division exists in space and time. When objects move, they change their position in space by moving from one position to another and change their position in time by moving from one moment to another. From Leibniz’s point of view, if one argues that the positions of space and the moments of time are at a minimum in the sense of having no magnitude, then two problems arise. Firstly, if the position of space does not have a magnitude, the paradox follows that the positions of bodies do not exist either. Secondly, even if moments of time have no magnitude, bodies would still be unable to change their position in space, because in such a case they would have to have only one position. The lack of a magnitude for moments of time means that objects cannot move through moments of time; as such, space would have to have only one position. However, neither case was acceptable to Leibniz, because both positions of space and moments of time must have magnitudes.
Instead of arguing that space exists between bodies in places where there are no bodies and therefore where no motion or time exists, Leibniz instead argued that bodies extend toward each other. However, the metaphysics on which he relied for this view was quite different. Therefore to him, for something to be considered as having a beginning and an end, it must not spread or have any parts, but it must still possess magnitude. Yet if one assumes that the infinitesimally small parts taken as the beginning of a line are undivided in the sense that they have no magnitude, one cannot also take such points as the end points of other lines, and this leads to the disappearance of the distinction between any two bodies.
For Leibniz, no situation exists in which bodies are completely at rest. According to him, bodies always desire to move forward in accordance with their conatus; even if their movement is stopped by other bodies, the conatus’ desire to move forward does not cease. Therefore to Leibniz, the conatus of any single body at any given time continues to persist as long as nothing else is found to be obstructing it at that given time. However, as the conatus moves forward and one body pushes or reacts to an impact from another body, the conatus of the body is transferred to the conatus of the opposite body. Still, bodies or objects are not permanent and lack recollection. for Leibniz, the fact that bodies lack the power to recollect of their own means accordingly means that they also lack actions, passions, and thoughts. For Leibniz, only the mind can recollect opposing conatuses at more than one moment of time. Therefore, Leibniz can be said to consider the mind to be a priori because of these functions of the mind. For, without the mind’s power of recollection, it cannot explain motion merely through the conatus of things.