Leibniz Essay, Research Paper

The Monadology attempts to define the ultimate substance of the world. The first part of The Monadology explains what a monad is, whereas, the second part of The Monadology concentrates on metaphysical principles. All that there is in the universe consists of monads, which there are an infinite number of them. A monad is a simple, indivisible substance. It can also be thought of as the true atom of nature, in brief, the elements of things (Leibniz, 1714:285).

Whatever, is, was and will be true of a substance follows as a matter of certainty from the nature of that substance (Enoch). They have a certain type of perfection to them. Monads have an infinite number of properties; they have all the properties that they will ever need to exhibit during the course of their existence. Therefore, all their properties are built in at the beginning of their existence. This means that they have a substantial form and ultimately have a final cause. Their final cause is the end that they are trying to reach.

Monads have no window through which something can enter or leave (Leibniz, 1714:292). This means that there is no way in which another monad may externally cause any change to another. If that s the case then it seems that all these monads are similar. In fact, that is not the case because there are no two perfectly alike beings in nature, or else all monads would be indistinguishable from one another. The changes that occur within monads occur due to internal principles; they are not caused externally.

Internal principle is the change from one perception to another, which is called appetition. Monads manifest perceptions, which are states that undergo transitions as they unfold. The appetition is the energy driving the monads with its perceptions towards its state transition or end. However, the appetition does not always reach the perception it wanted to, but always attains a portion of it, as a result, still, creating something new. A perception can only come naturally from another perception (Leibniz: 1714, 287). Therefore, every present state of a monad is a consequent of its preceding state.

Knowledge of necessary truth furnishes man with reason/mind and the sciences. Man s reasoning is based on two principles: contradiction and sufficient reason. In addition, there are two types of truths: reasoning and fact. Truths of reasoning can be found through analysis. This is a process where one simplifies a substance or idea until they reach the first and most primitives of the ideas. Even bodies can be broken down to infinity of simple substances. Within this process of simplification there can be boundless amount of detail. This detail may go very far back in time, to more prior, and more detailed contingents. Each contingent must be analyzed in it of itself in order to give reason for it. Sufficient or ultimate reason must be outside of this process of simplifying, no matter how infinite it may be or how far back in time one may go. Therefore, there must be one simple substance in which all these simplifying may lead to, and that substance is a monad. And this monad is God.

God is the primitive substance and following God s existence, monads are derived. However, because they are derived from God that does not mean that they are a mirror image of God. They are not perfect like God; they are just an imitation of God. God is perfect because God is capable of acting externally unto others. Whereas, monads are imperfect because they are acted upon, and cannot directly act upon another without the intervention of God. One creature is more prefect than another is as long as it is capable of causing something onto the other. Therefore, God is more perfect than a monad because one, God created monads, and two, God regulates monads.

Leibniz says that, God has created the world in such a way that there is an interconnection among all created things to one another. To a point where each monad is somehow expressing another monad. Where each simple substance is a perpetual, living mirror of the universe (Leibniz, 290). In addition, there are an infinite number of simple substances; as a result, there are that many universes. These are the various perspectives of the monads depending on the point of view in which each one is. This is how so much variety is obtained, but still regulated by God in such a way that there still is the greatest order possible.

Another characteristic of monads is that they are all put together and can be looked at in terms of infinity, but individually they are finite. This is so because monads are in a plenum; a region so tightly packed that one thing can t influence one part and not influence another. Every motion has some effect on distant bodies (Leibniz, 1714: 290). A monad has immediate communication with the monad it was just in contact with. But the contactee just contacted with so many more monads also. Since the contactee just contacted the contacator and all the previous contactors to that contractor. Therefore each created monad represents the universe (Leibniz, 1714: 290). Since its contact with one monad leads to contacts will all others and etc.

Leibniz tried to define the ultimate substance of the universe. He attempted to prove that the simplest substance is a monad. He then described the characteristics of a monad, and proved to us that they are codified and have a predestined path, by the ultimate monad, God. Monads are the simplest substance. They are simple insofar as they have no windows. Nothing can leave or come into one. However, their properties do change, actually they have an infinite number of properties. Some may be in use at one point and others at another depending on their codification from their initial creation. Therefore monads are enduring forever and are unchanging to a certain extent. Each one has an end in which it is trying to achieve and this end is one that was codified into them since the first day they came into existence.

I think that Leibniz did a fairly good job at proving to the reader that whatever is, was, and will be true of a monad is a result of the nature of the monad. Monads have nothing but changes and perceptions within them. The perceptions are not within a composite but only in the simple substance itself. Therefore, any change that occurs internally, and not externally. As a result of this internal principle, Leibniz feels comfortable calling monads enetlechies, for they have in themselves a certain perfection; they have a sufficiency that makes them the sources of their internal actions (Leibniz, 1714: 286). They are self-sufficient and self-developing. Within in them there is a system that was preordained. Their creator preordained this system, and to Leibniz this creator was God. The proof of God was also provided by Leibniz, but I don t think its necessary for me to get into that.

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