Hi Roger,

We now know that matter is not infinitely divisible.
So the argument of Leibniz is falsified.
In appreciation,
Richard

On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 6:50 AM, Roger Clough <rclo...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
> Leibniz on consciousness and the self as non-materialistic
>
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-mind/
>
>
> "In other writings, Leibniz suggests exactly what characteristic it is of 
> perception and consciousness
> that the mechanical principles of materialism cannot account for. The 
> following passages, the first
> from the New System of Nature (1695), the second from the Reply to Bayle 
> (1702), are revealing in this regard:
> Furthermore, by means of the soul or form, there is a true unity which 
> corresponds to what is called the
> I in us; such a thing could not occur in artificial machines, nor in the 
> simple mass of matter, however organized it may be.
> But in addition to the general principles which establish the monads of which 
> compound things are
> merely the results, internal experience refutes the Epicurean [i.e. 
> materialist] doctrine. This experience is the
> consciousness which is in us of this I which apperceives things which occur 
> in the body. This perception
> cannot be explained by figures and movements [of materials].
>
> Leibniz's point is that whatever is the subject of perception and 
> consciousness must be truly one,
> a single "I" properly regarded as one conscious being. An aggregate of matter 
> is not truly one and so
> cannot be regarded as a single I, capable of being the subject of a unified 
> mental life.
> This interpretation fits nicely with Lebniz's oft-repeated definition of 
> perception as the representation in the
> simple of the compound, or of that which is outside. (Principles of Nature 
> and Grace, sec.2 (1714)).
> More explicitly, in a letter to Antoine Arnauld of 9 October 1687, Leibniz 
> wrote that "In natural perception
> and sensation, it is enough for what is divisible and material and dispersed 
> into many entities to be
> expressed or represented in a single indivisible entity or in a substance 
> which is endowed with genuine unity.
> If perception (and hence, consciousness) essentially involves a 
> representation of a variety of content in a simple,
> indivisible "I" then we may construct Leibniz's argument against materialism 
> as follows:
>
> Materialism holds that matter can explain (is identical with, can give rise 
> to) perception.
> A perception is a state whereby a variety of content is represented in a true 
> unity.
> Thus, whatever is not a true unity cannot give rise to perception. Whatever is
> divisible is not a true unity. Matter is infinitely divisible. Hence, matter 
> cannot
> form a true unity. Hence, matter cannot explain (be identical with, give rise 
> to)
> perception. If matter cannot explain (be identical to, give rise to) 
> perception,
> then materialism is false. Hence, materialism is false. "
>
> Roger Clough, rclo...@verizon.net
> 10/8/2012
> "Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
>
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