hammersklavier wrote:Principle of Sufficient Reason
Okay, I recently did a paper refuting Leibniz's monads. On what was, however, otherwise an "A+" paper, my teacher left me the following comment:
Where I asked, since monads are mental, ideal elements, in whose mind they would exist in, my teacher commented "They are minds themselves. Each monad is a mind." Since I'm going to present, and I know he'll bring that up, I'd like to know, since I've asked some of the other professors in the philosophy department here (and they've got no idea), one, how he came up with this, and two, how I can refute this notion, because what he is effectively challenging me to do is engage and dismiss the concept that a monad is its own mind.
. In Leibniz's PSR, everything has; a) a complete explanation, and b) nothing exists which cannot be fully explained. The complete explanation in Leibniz's PSR must be contained within the substance
. There is also complete reason, which entails that a thing has to be necessary and sufficient. Self sufficiency for Leibniz entails that there be some form of activity
(like a change in property or something like that.) Now, applying PSR, any change must be explained with each substance, but also any properties have to be explained by itself and not by something else
. This is where we get the neat Latin phrase from Leibniz Phenomena bene fundatum
(the well founded phenomena). So, essentially take away the fact that substances cannot be explained by substances. Important now is to understand a few points. Now a substance is self-sufficient, but like what was previously said, it has to be a) active, and b) maintain an active principle
. Also, all properties are representations.
Now shift for a second to notion notcause
, or more precisely, which is the dominant
monad. The monad that causes
is the one which reflects the world most accurately. This makes sense if you review the nature of the three types of monads. Now also think of the nature of appetition and cause and effect. Think of a film strip, where the next state of a captured scene is caused by the previous one. Within each "scene" or really "state," is what has, will, and will come to be already within it (i.e. PSR). You then get into the principles of knowledge, which is probably going too far, but that last sentence was what I was essentially getting at.
Now when the teacher said "They are minds themselves. Each monad is a mind," what I think he may be driving at is that there is clear division from the monad and the conception of the monad. It may be the way you phrased the point from which you noted the teachers response, but it seems as though you say that a monad is a conception of the mind, rather than a metaphysical substance or in fact a "soul." Berkeley is one of the few people in your period of modern philosophy who conceives the world esse est percippi (to be is to be perceived) but not Leibniz. Like what was previously said about monads, it is its own constitution within a plurality of substances. So a monad is essentially its own mind (think of the filmstrip analogy, attribute of monads, etc).
BTW, what I posited in my paper: that monads exist in the mind of God, wherein I discovered that if they do, then the Universe and all in it would too exist in the mind of God (following Leibniz's definition of monads), which led me to connect Leibniz's God with Spinoza's (which of course led, after a little reflection of ramifications, to dismissal), and that they exist in the mind of man, wherein I suggested that if they did, then man (with proper training) would be able to alter objective reality to his will, something we cannot do, which too led to dismissal.
I would say that monads do not exist in the mind of god because they are immune to interference. Remember that a monad is created as it is with what was, will, and will be all incorporated within it from creation. A monad is in many senses an innate object. But it sounds like a very interesting paper though. It sounds like you are investigating the similarities in Spinoza and Leibniz's notions of neccessitarianism. Good stuff!