On 12/11/2012 9:14 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
Hi Stephen P. King
1) If I cut my hair, my fingerprints don't change.
Monads continually and rapidly undergo changes (in their perceptions
and appetites), but their identites (their souls, their DNA,
their fingerprints, who they are, their names) do not change.
I don't see how this claim about monads is consistent with Leibniz'
1. The Monad, of which we shall here speak, is nothing but the simple
substance, that which makes up all compounds. By 'simple' is meant
3. These Monads are the real atoms of nature, which make up things.
4. Monads cannot fail. No simple substance can be destroyed by natural
5. Neither can any truly simple substance come into being by being
formed from the combination of parts.
7. Monads have no window, through which anything could come in or go
out. Neither substance nor accident can come into a Monad from outside.
2) No two monads can be identical or else they would disappear.
Just as no two substances can be identical, all are as different
as DNA or fingerprimts.
Yes, but you seem to not understand the implication of "no windows."
3) Malebranche as I recall had God intervening in the operation
of the universe. Leibniz is different in that, indeed, God is
the only causal entity (because monads are blind and passive)
but everything must change in accordance with everything else
(the-established harmony, not individual intervention).
Yes, both Leibniz and Malebranche (and Spinoza) propose that God is
the cause of all things. Any notion of free will is illusion at best in
their schema. I find this troubling as these idea require that all
events for any 1p be organized ab initio (from the beginning). One
problem is that there is no such thing as a 'beginning' for an eternal
I actually like Malebranche's idea of 'occasionalism' but without
an explanation of the nature of God's intervention, it is incoherent. In
L's Monadology, God's "intervention" is wholly contained at inception,
in creation the pre-established harmony. This is where I diverge from
Leibniz's interpretation of monads and, it seems, from yours.
A "pre-ordained harmony" as necessitated by L's descriptions, is in
my humble opinion, equivalent to Julian Barbour's collection of 'time
capsules' and just as flawed. Why? Because the PEH is a solution to an
infinite NP-Hard problem and such require 2^N resources to be computed;
where N is the number of possible differences or different aspects.
There is simply not enough time or memory or some combination of the
two, for the solution to obtain prior to the 'creation' of the monads or
4) There is a hierarchy of monads. just as there is a heirarchy of being.
Besides between levels, on any particular level, some are more dominant
than others (eg faster, more powerful, smarter). The dominant ones
beat down the less dominant ones and grow stronger.
Leibniz does propose such a hierarchy, but again I break with his
thinking as my solution to the PEH problem requires that the
organization be rhyzomic and not hierarchical. No monad is privaledged
over any other in any absolute sense. Just as we learn from Einstein et
al that there is no privileged frame of reference or coordinate system
and we learn from QM that there is no prefered basis, so to are the
percepts that are the monads.
5) For all of the above comments, your own statement :
"These statements are not part of Leibniz' thesis and do not apply to
monads as they
violate the definition of a monad. Additionally, I need to point out
that there is no
external hierarchy of 'superiority' between monads. Their relation to
each other is more
analogous to a rhizome, except that this illustration of the web of
relations is implicate,
as there is no such thing as an 'outside" for monads."
is totally incorrect, except that perhaps monads may act "as if" they
except that they obey a pre-established harmony.
Do you understand my claim that a P.E.H. is a self-contradictory
idea? It is equivalent to a solution of a vast calculation that somehow
can be used prior to the act of doing the calculation itself. Just as
one cannot ride in a car that has not yet been built or eat a meal that
still has not been prepared, any kind of pre-established harmony
requires that the 'computation' of it occur before it can be used. How
can a pre-established harmony be computed for a finite universe if that
universe is all that exists that can act as a means to run the
computation? If the universe is actually infinite (which I believe it
is) then it is doubly impossible for a pre-established harmony to exist!
The alternative is that there does not exist a pre-established
harmony except in an a posteriori (after the fact) and finite sense. It
is what we call a history or past as seen from some point of view.
Computations can certainly exist after the means to run them is
available. In my thinking, the physical universe (which is one of
infinitely many) that we consider ourselves to exist 'in', is necessary
as it is the means (resources) by which the 'computation' of a
pre-established harmony can occur.
This makes the computation (of the pre-established harmony if you
insist on this idea) itself some thing that 'runs backwards' and this is
exactly what Pratt proposes in his rehabilitation of dualism.
The rhizome conept is an interesting and powerful one. Alan Rayner, a
biologist and artist at Bath Univ.,
uses the rhizome concept in his theory of inclusionality:
He's very congenial and I've had numerous contacts with him in the past.
The rhizome is the natural form of equanimous or center-free
networks, so it follows that we see it in those conditions.
[Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] <mailto:rclo...@verizon.net]>
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen
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