Wed 28 May, 2014 11:11 pm
The Monadology is Leibniz’s account of his metaphysical thought, in which he states that that world is made up of an infinity of simple substances or ‘monads’. He believes that this is knowable a priori, which is characteristic of his rationalist views.
As defined in the Monadology ‘The monad … is nothing but a simple substance, which enters into composites’ . These simple substances are the basic constituents of reality for Leibniz, and it is a requirement that they are immaterial or non-physical. In contrast to the Cartesian idea of matter, Leibniz claims monads are the only genuine substance, so the type of matter discussed by Descartes of which extension is an integral part, does not therefore qualify as genuine substance. Due to the fact that monads have no physical form, it follows that they cannot be extended, divided nor changed in any way. Leibniz consistently maintains that substances are true unities, which he terms unities per se, which cannot be aggregates like extended matter. Rather, aggregates are built from these much more simple, basic things, which for Leibniz are the elements of true reality. He saw aggregates themselves as phenomena.