Remaking America by George Shollenberger, Idea XXXIX (The science of Gottfried Leibniz, Part XVIII)
Our soul can be known only if we use Plato’s negative. Apparently, Nicholas of Cusa recognized the importance of Plato’s negative when he wrote a paper ‘On God as Not-Other. (click) In this paper God is identified as Not-other and all created things are identified as Other. In this paper, Cusa develops different statements. For instance, he says, ‘in a hot thing, what is not-hot is the hot thing.’ This statement would be viewed as a contradiction by today’s U.S. logicians. But they are wrong because this statement merely distinguishes the phenomenon, hot, from a not-hot thing, which can become hot. In general, this kind of statement identifies a Subject, the not-hot thing, and a Predicate, which is the phenomenon hot.
So, when Leibniz moves sensations out of our brains and places them into our souls, he gave our soul phenomena and made our soul an ‘independent’ thing. With this move our souls are no longer epiphenomena of the brain, as atheists argue.
But Leibniz searches for more truths about this independent thing. To find more truths, he negates the sensations. Using Cusa’s Subject/Predicate statement, Leibniz thought that ‘in a sensual thing, what is not-sensual is the sensual thing. Leibniz’s gives the term not-sensual its positive nature using the symbol ‘wisdom.’ Here, we see that Leibniz gives the soul two reasoning abilities --- logical reason and sufficient reason.
In his book on 'Critique of Pure Reason,' at ‘General Observations on Transcendental Aesthetic,’ Kant was wrong to say that Leibniz connected the sensible and intelligence merely logically. It is clear that Kant never used Plato’s negative. This error by Kant might have helped to impede the propagation of Leibniz writings in Europe and the USA.