On 12/17/2012 7:40 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
I think that Leibniz's "pre-established harmony" is simply
an early version of thermodyanmics, and/or possibly quantum nonlocality.

Hi Roger,

I agree! His ideas clearly foresaw many discoveries of the 21th century.



A discussion of Leibniz's theory of causation is given on

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-causation/

He states that there are basically only three theories of
causation: physical influx, occasionalism, and the pre-
established harmony (PEH).

    Does it not seem that QM demand's a forth theory?

  Physical in-flux is that of newtonian
physics. If a moving ball strikes another, something called
"momentum" is transferred from the first to the second ball,
which then moves on. Leibniz rejects this because

"Leibniz wants to rule out any kind of causation in which one
substance passes something on to the other substance:
“The way of influence is that of the common philosophy.
But since it is impossible to conceive of material particles or
of species or immaterial qualities which can pass from one of
these substances into the other, the view must be rejected”
(GP iv, 498f)."

Leibniz also rejects occasionalism,  the theory that God
intervenes in each action to assure the correct result.
The problem with this and physical in-flux is that
it ignores secondary reactions and so forth, which
should extend globally to all bodies.

Instead of these theories of purely localized interactions,
Leibniz poffers his theory of pre-established harmony (PEH),
in which God has globally specified the paths of moving bodies
so that there are no collisions, etc.

It appears to me that the PEH is nothing more than
the principles of thermodynamics, which assures that
large groups of particles act such as to fulfill the basic
laws of thermodynamics. Thus the local interactions
are fulfilled globally.  Quantum nonlocaty might
be a second explanation of this.

I agree. Figuring out how the computation implied in the Harmony is no easy task! Bruno's Universal Dovetailer comes the closest to L's idea, but it is still classical and, it seems to me, a priori synthetic.


--
Onward!

Stephen


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