What are monads ?

Now we must enter the world of metaphysics in order to understand events 
more complex or larger than single events.


"The noun "universal" contrasts with "individual", while the adjective 
contrasts with "particular". Paradigmatically, universals are abstract (e.g. 
whereas particulars are concrete (e.g. the person of Socrates). "

Perhaps the chief obstacle to understanding Leibniz is his invention and use of 
the monad,
as defined in his Monadology.  The reason is that L wanted to base his 
metaphysics on
what could be well defined as individual or unitary concepts, "atoms of 
This implies a whole without parts, both physically and conceptually. That 
means that the 
monads are all alive. Since they are alive they are constantly changing.

Atoms are excluded, one reason (my reason) being that, according to Heisenberg, 
definition of a particle must be uncertain.

Monads are these unitary or partless bodies or concepts, which cannot be 
into parts without destroying their identity or meaning, thus killling them. 
The mind of an 
individual is a monad, brain is a monad, and body is a monad, self within mind 
brain within body.

A monad can thus contain myriad monads, both by splitting at a given level
but also containing monads at lower levels.

It may be that we divide a monad such as humanity into parts which are people 

It may be that the Self contains a conscious monad and an unconscious one.

There are three classes of monad, those called 'spirits" (which we would call 
which are monads with intellect, secondly Souls or animals and plants that are
sensitive to the environment and can feel pain, and lowest of all, "bare, naked 
monads", such as rocks, which are sleepy, dull, and unfeeling. 

We cannot identify things in this way if instead we use atomic theory or 
which as we shall see, gives L's metaphysics enormous power beyond that of 
Bertrand Russell and perhaps many of you will find monads to be, to use R's 
a "fairy tail", but  as long as you are careful, and follow logic rather than 
folk ideas,
you will gain enormous power to understand the world. 

Leibniz, besides his providing us with monads, also essentially gives us a kit
of metaphysical tools (rather than encyclopedic treatises) that we ourselves 
can use to explore the world.

Dr. Roger B Clough NIST (ret.) [1/1/2000]
See my Leibniz site at

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 everything-list@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Reply via email to