Ibid, pp 9-10 -
At the end of this period Kant published an essay in which he
adopted the Newtonian position, and argued against-the relational
theory of space. The piece, entitled On the First Ground of the
Distinction of Regions,in Space, makes devastating use of an argument
which first appeared, unappreciated, in the Leibniz-Clarke
correspondence. As quoted above, Leibniz had argued that if space
were absolute, then mirror images would be distinguishable. But,
he insists, they are perfect counterparts and therefore must be
presumed to be literally identical. In response, Clarke merely asserted
God's ability to choose between indistinguishable alternatives.
God to the rescue!
Once upon a time I read the Clarke-Leibniz correspondence, and to be truthful, it sounded like two pedantic teenagers having a debate. And whenever someone in the debate is cornered, he simply calls on God's ordinance.
Wolff goes on to explain the incongruent counterparts argument mentioned in a post above:
Kant, however, took up this argument and made a simple observation
which decisively refuted Leibniz. Consider a pair of
human hands, he suggested. They are perfect counterparts of one
another, the relations of their parts completely parallel. And yet
no twisting or turning can ever transform the left into the right.
They are incongruous, like matching triangles in a two-dimensional
surface, spherical triangles in three-dimensions, left-and-right-
hand spirals, or even, as Kant points out, left-and-right-hand
snail shells. From the incongruity of counterparts, it follows that
the creation of a left hand would be, for God, a different act from
the creation of a right hand. Although their spatial relations are
identical, the two hands are spatially different, and consequently
space cannot be simply the relations of parts of the universe to
Thus Leibnizian relationism bites the dust. And so Kant - temporarily - adopted Newtonian Absolute Space.