Leibniz and Bolzano on conceptual containment

Jan Karl Claas

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Philosophers often rely on the notion of conceptual containment and apply mereological terminology when they talk about the parts or constituents of a complex concept. In this paper, I explore two historical approaches to this general notion. In particular, I reconstruct objections Bernard Bolzano puts forward against a criterion that played a prominent role in the history of philosophy and that was endorsed, among others, by Leibniz. According to this criterion, a concept that represents objects contains all and only the concepts that represent properties the objects must have in order to be represented by the former concept. Bolzano offers several counterexamples and arguments against the criterion. I argue that while some of them presuppose a strongly mereological understanding of containment, which Leibniz is not committed to, one of them also succeeds without relying on demanding mereological principles.
Seiten (von - bis)924-942
FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Frühes Online-Datum11 Aug. 2021
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Sep. 2022

ÖFOS 2012

  • 603104 Geschichte der Philosophie
  • 603120 Sprachphilosophie


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