Lecture Five [64-66]

Reason, which insists on its being rendered, at the same time requires that it, as a reason, be sufficient, which means, completely satisfactory. For what? In order to securely establish an object [Gegenstand] in its stance [Stand] . In the background of the definition of sufficing, of sufficiency (of suffectio), there is the guiding idea of Leibnizian thinking-the idea of perfectio, that is, of the completeness [Voll-ständigkeit] of the determinations for the standing [Stehen] of an object [Gegenstand]. Only in the completeness of the conditions for its possibility, only in the completeness of its reasons is the status [Stiindigkeit] of an object through and through securely established, perfect.[20] Reason (ratio) is related to the effect (efficere) as cause (causa) ; reason must itself be sufficient (sufficiens, sufficere). This sufficiency is required and determined by the perfectio (perficere) of the object. It is certainly no accident that within the province of the principle of reason language seems to spontaneously speak of an efficere, sufficere, perficere, that is, of a manifold facere, of a making, of a producing and rendering. For Leibniz, the tide of the principle of reason reads, when thought strictly and completely: principium reddendae rationis sufficientis, the fundamental principle of rendering sufficient reasons.21 We could also say: the principle of adequate reasons. When, as is the case of Leibniz's discovery and defining of the principle of sufficient reason, a mighty Principle comes to light, thinking and cognition in all essential regards enters into a new sort of movement. It is the modern manner of thinking in which we daily reside without expressly perceiving or noticing the demand of reason to be rendered in all cognition. Accordingly, in a more historically concealed than historiographically visible manner, Leibniz determines not only the development of modern logic into logistics and into thinking machines, and not only the more radical interpretation of the subjectivity of the subject within the philosophy of German Idealism and its subsequent scions. The thinking of Leibniz supports and molds the chief tendency of what, thought broadly enough, we can call the metaphysics of the modern age. Therefore, for us the name of Leibniz does not stand as a tag for a bygone system of philosophy. The name names the presence of a thinking whose strength has not yet been experienced, a presence that still awaits to encounter us. Only through looking back on what Leibniz thought can we characterize the present age—an age one calls the atomic age—as an age pervasively bepowered by the power of the principium reddendae rationis sufficientis. The demand to render sufficient reasons for all representations speaks in what today has become the object bearing the names "atom" and "atomic energy. "

Strictly speaking, we may indeed be barely able, as we will see, to speak of objects any more. If we pay attention, we see we already move in a world where there are no more ob-jects. But to be ob-jectless [Gegen-standlose] is not the same as to be without a stance [Standlose] . Rather, a different sort of status [Ständigkeit] emerges in what is objectless. The principium grande, the mighty Principle, the principle of reason in no way forfeits any of its power for a world