Leibniz and Locke on the ultimate origination of things
This dissertation examines Locke's and Leibniz' explanation of the origin and nature of the world. As Leibniz writes in his "De Rerum Originatione Radicali," which is used as a guide to the issues addressed, this project involves answering two questions: "Why is there a world at all?" and "Why is the world the way it is?" Both Leibniz and Locke answer the first question by way of a cosmological argument for the existence of God as the first cause of the world. I explicate and criticize these arguments. I also examine the metaphysical and theological presuppositions of the arguments. Leibniz's and Locke's views on the structure and intelligibility of the world answer the second question.