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
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.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Anderson, Joseph, "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" (2006). HIM 1990-2015. 529.