Title

The Best of All Possible Worlds Contains Evil: An Examination and Defense of Leibniz's Arguments that This Is the Best of All Possible Worlds

Abstract

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz claimed that this is the best of all possible worlds. This view has been widely criticized. Much of the criticism focuses on the fact that it is simply counter-intuitive because of the presence of evil. This paper is intended to be a defense of Leibniz's view against those who would suggest that the presence of evil implies that there could be a better world.

After defining terms, the first section of this paper will examine Leibniz's arguments for this being the best of all possible worlds. The idea of "best" will also be examined. Leibniz's conception of best will be examined in Leibniz's writings, and an alternative view of best will be suggested to strengthen Leibniz's arguments. Then, the paper will tum to examine the problem of evil and the attack that it is on Leibniz's view. I will suggest that the problem of evil is not a problem for this belief because the world better accomplishes its purpose with evil than it would without evil.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2006

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Gallagher, Shaun

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Philosophy

Subjects

Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0021967

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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