Leibniz on sensory experience
Leibniz maintained that all causation is mental.
This appears to contradict sensory experiences such as being
pricked by a pin, for the cause of the experience would seem
to originate in the body with the prick.
There are a number of resolutions to this apparent dilemma,
my own being that the cause of the pain is not the sensory
nerve signal itself, but the mental perception of the nerve signal,
for the pain is felt mentally by the perceiver, although it may
appear to come from the site of the pin prick. So the perceiver
is the causal agent, not the body.
This is not dissimilar to other bodily events such as the feeling of
fear or other emotions. The actual feeling I believe is
caused by the mental perception of the fear, which may originate
in diffuse regions of the brain or other organs and be perceived
from nerve signals from the brain or other bodily sites.
Dr. Roger B Clough NIST (ret.) [1/1/2000]
See my Leibniz site at
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