Leibniz's cosmology and definition of life The account below was sifted and reconstructed from Leibniz's monadology:
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/leibniz/monadology.html Unlike the materialists, Leibniz rejected material atomism in favor of conceptual atoms called simple substances or monads, which are mental, not physical. These are soul-like entities, which are conceptual wholes (but which can, and usually do, contain other monads). Monads cannot be created or destroyed unless by divine action, so are constant in number over the life of the universe. Because they are mental and are not inhabitants of physical space, they are dimensionless, logical points. Thus another way of describing Leibniz's universe is that it can be represented on a spread sheet or categories and subcategories. Because each monad is alive (over a wide range of degrees of awareness and physical capability), the definition of a monad is tantamount to his definition of life, thus each monad is a type of living cell. As Leibniz put it, "The universe is totally composed of simple substances (wholes or souls), in each of which are perceptions and appetites." These perceptions and appetites (entelechies) imply that each monad is alive (although there is a spectrum of degrees of awarenesses), so that Leibniz's definition of a monad is also his definition of life. Since monads are conceptual, not physical, they cannot directly (physically) interact. Thus each monad is isolated, there being no windows in the monads. But it knows the perceptions of all of the other monads in the universe (from its own point of view) indirectly through being continusouly and rapidly updated by the Supreme Monad, which is similar to the Platonic One or a divinity in that it alone can perceive (and perceive the universe of monads) and perform actions among them. Thus each monad in effect can perceive the universxe indirecty and is continuously aware of all of the actions and states of the universe. - Roger Clough Dr. Roger Clough NIST (ret.) 3/26/2013 "Coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous." - Albert Einstein -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.