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.

Dear Roger,

I don't see how this claim about monads is consistent with Leibniz' definition.

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 'without parts.'

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 means.

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 universe...

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 time capsules.

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 are rhizomes,
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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