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Divisible Bodies and the Search for Substantial Unity In his meditations Des Cartes posits that extension is the essential property of substantive bodies In analyzing of the malleable properties of wax he claims I would not be making a correct judgment about the nature of wax unless I believed it being capable of being extended in many more different ways than I will ever encompass in my imagination 21 For Des Cartes extending in size quantity length width depth and in various shapes positions and local motions 44 is as essential to the nature of bodies as thinking is to the nature of minds He believes that since he cannot will or control his perception of substances they must either exist as bodies unless God is deceiving him by giving him false perceptions 55 However since Des Cartes has proven that God exists and that he is perfect he couldnt be a deceiver Thus Des Cartes concludes that in spite of his limited perception the bodies must exist and they must at least possess the prope rties that he perceives 55 Leibniz disagrees with Des Cartes not about the distinctiveness of extension as a property that characterizes bodies but more radically with Des Cartes initial assumption that the extension of matter would be enough to account for real unified substance In this essay I will demonstrate how Leibniz using the argument of infinite divisibility denies that matter or bodily extension could be the essence of substance Leibniz introduces this idea in his Primary Truths where he makes the following claim Extension and motion as well as bodies themselves insofar as only motion and extension are placed in bodies are not substances but true phenomena like rainbowsFor there are no shapes in things and if we consider their extension alone then bodies are not substances but many substances 34 Essentially in this statement Leibniz boldly denies the common-sense notion that matter is
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