Wacky Wisdom Wednesday is a new segment dedicated to strange philosophical theories of interest.
Monadology is a book that Gottfried Leibniz wrote. This short text is a metaphysics of simple substances. But what’s so important about monads? And can they really be different from atoms? Let’s have a look at them both. Here, you’ll learn more about Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s ideas and see what makes Monads so unique.
Who the Fuck was Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz?
The polymath and renowned German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is often referred to as one of the most influential minds in regards to modern mathematics. Aside from his mathematical works, Leibniz was also a philosopher, scientist, and diplomat. His work ranges from philosophy, law and history to politics as well as legal and political laws. His school of thought was “rationalism” and his theories and explanations have been credited with revolutionizing the way we think and live.
Leibniz’s work anticipated modern logic and analytic philosophy. As a child prodigy, Leibniz had a broad range of contributions to his field of study. The result of his work is a body of knowledge that is still very important today.
Leibniz graduated from a university 1713 and worked at the Nuremberg Alchemical Society’s courts as well as the Elector in Mainz. Leibniz also tried his hand at politics by organizing campaigns against the French attacking German regions. He discussed church reunification with philosophers. Eventually, Leibniz became Imperial Court Councillor to the Habsburgs. He was also credited for the 1701 Act of Settlement.
What the Hell is Monadology?
It was in 1714 that Leibniz developed his monad theory. Monads are representations that go beyond the limits of the limit of infinity. They can be distinguished by distinct and quantifiable perceptions. A monad is a specific illustration of monads. The monad’s senses for clarity and distinction define its perceptions. The world is a place where a monad could be a representation of any object, including its own.
Leibniz claims that the monads comprise the entirety of the universe. The simple materials are brimming with transformative properties and their properties create them to appear in particular ways. They can alter, but they do not change each other.
Every monad has its own distinct characteristics and unique intellectual structure. Monads existence is controlled and determined by a master plan. The master plan, or plan of God, is expressed in every monad. The structure of the monad allows it to view the entire universe. How is this possible? Every monad is a representation of all the others.
Leibniz’s theory on change reveals that monads differ in numerous ways. There aren’t any monads within nature which are alike. Their differences are intrinsic. Each creature is subject to change. However, these changes are governed by an internal rule. They are not influenced by external factors. Monads are singular in this regard however that doesn’t render them unchanging.
Monads vs Atoms
The differences between atoms and monads are striking. Atoms are supposed to be the smallest unit of matter and quarks are the smallest partles known to man. Monads are smaller, yet. No matter how small the smallest bit of matter is that we discover, monads will always be theoretically smaller. They are indivisible and do not take up any physical space.
Whereas atoms compose the material world, monads reflect the illusion of a material world. Monads are a spiritual energy that can express their will in the universe according to the infinite will of God, while atoms cannot.
The Monad is a single soul-like entity, and its properties depend on its appetites and perceptions. Although it is not in any causal relationship with any other monads but perfectly synced with God, there are no relations between them.
God as the Supreme Nomad
Leibniz postulated that God is the supreme monad and asserts that God ordered the universe and all its monads. God is the only one who can determine the eternal truths of this universe. The contingent truths of the universe are determined by the greatest benefit, while the necessarily true depend upon God’s understanding. God is the supreme unity of all things, the original simple substance, and the ultimate monad.
To have an essentially non-uniform being, all Monads must be different from each other. There must be an internal difference because no being is the same. All created beings experience change. Each Monad should be subject to a constant process of change. Simple substances would have a particular nature based upon the series of changes that took place during their existence.
God as the supreme monad requires that we understand and trust the predicates of the universe. This means that the material world is only a collection or appearances of monads.
Gottfried Leibniz is a thinker whose work has been largely overshadowed by giants like Descartes, Locke, and Newton. But if you take the time to explore his philosophical system known as Monadology, you may find that he has something unique and insightful to offer us all. At its heart, Monadology is an early attempt at understanding atoms and the physical world. But it also contains some fascinating ideas about God and the spiritual realm which are still worth exploring today. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the mind of this underrated philosopher, be sure to check out some of his primary texts.
If this wacky theory peaked your interest, be sure to like and subscribe for more to follow.