[Wittrs] Re: [quickphilosophy] 1.21 Continued

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 11:49:40 -0700 (PDT)

[ the message board is not sending messages back to wittrs. Not sure why. Until 
that is fixed, this appears in reply to walter].

I read half of the Monadology the other night and took some notes. Pardon the 
lack of quotes from the TLP, but I am sure you'll see 'em when you come to 'em.

7. In addition, there is no way of explaining how a monad could be internally 
altered or changed by some other created being. The reason is that there is 
nothing which can be moved from one position to another, and it is impossible 
conceive of any internal motion, which could be set up, redirected, increased, 
or diminished inside it. By contrast, this is possible in compounds, since they 
have parts which can change position. Monads have no windows to let anything in 
or out by. Accidents cannot detach themselves from substances, or travel around 
independently of them, as the 'sensible species' of the scholastics used to do. 
Consequently, neither substances nor accidents can get into a monad from 

Here, perception (within the monad, as precise specification) 'can not be 
explained in terms of mechanistic causation'. Is that what is left out of the 
TLP? The duck-rabbit and in-and-out cube? The failure of the logical 

25. We also see that Nature has given heightened perceptions to animals, 
the care it has taken to supply them with sense organs, which bring together 
many rays of light or waves in the air, to make them more effective by being 
united. There is something similar in the senses of smell, taste, and touch, 
perhaps also many other senses which are unknown to us. I shall shortly explain 
how what happens in the soul represents what occurs in the sense organs.

I am reminded of Wittgenstein's analogy between the musical score, the 
gramophone record, and the sheet music. They are, in a sense, all on the same 

29. But it is knowledge of necessary and eternal truths which distinguishes us 
from mere animals, and which gives us reason and the sciences, by elevating us 
to knowledge of ourselves and of God. This is what in us is called the 
soul', or spirit.

Knowledge of 'eternal truths' is called, by Leibniz, the spirit (or 
Is a tautology eternal truth?

30. It is also through the knowledge of necessary truths and what can be 
abstracted from them that we are raised to acts of reflection, which make us 
think of what is called the self, and to consider that this or that is in us. 
is thus that, in thinking of ourselves, we think of being, of substance, of the 
simple and the compound, of the immaterial, and even of God, by forming a 
conception of what is limited within us, and without limits in him. These acts 
of reflection provide us with the primary objects of our reasonings.

This brings me back to ray monk, about something from one of LW's journals.

"If I may explain in a similie: If a street loafer were to write his biography, 
the danger would be that he would either
a) deny tat his nature was what it is,
or b), would find some reason to be proud of it,
or c), present the matter as though this- that he had such a nature- were of no 
In the first case he lies, in the second he mimics the trait of the natural 
aristocrat, that pride which is a vitium splendidud and which he can not really 
have any more than a crippled body can have natural grace. In the third case he 
makes as it were the gesture of social democracy, placing culture above the 
bodily qualities- but this is deception as well. He is what he is, and this is 
important and means something but is no reason for pride, on the other hand it 
is always the object of self-respect. And I can accept the other's aristocratic 
pride and his contempt for my nature, for in this I am only taking account of 
what my nature is and of the other man as part of the environment of my nature- 
the world with this perhaps ugly object, my person, as its center."

31. Our reasonings are grounded on two great principles. One is the principle 
contradiction, by virtue of which we judge false anything which involves a 
contradiction, and true anything which is the opposite or contradictory of the 

Contradiction and its opposite (tautology?). I've seen GL write on tautologies 
and contradictions elsewhere. And happiness, too.

35. Finally, there are simple ideas which cannot be defined; and there are also 
axioms and postulates -- in a word, primary principles -- which cannot be 
proved, and also do not need to be proved, since they are assertions of 
identity, of which the opposite contains an explicit contradiction.

Humph... what can I say about that?

45. Thus only God (or the necessary being) has this privilege, that he must 
exist if he is possible. And since nothing can prevent the possibility of that 
which includes no limits, no negation, and hence no contradiction, this alone 
enough for us to know apriori that God exists. We have also proved his 
from the reality of eternal truths. But we have also just proved it 
since contingent beings exist, and they could only have their ultimate or 
sufficient reason in the necessary being, who has the reason for their 
in himself.

An a priori true thought would be one whose possibility guaranteed its truth.

46. Meanwhile, one must not imagine (as some have) that, since eternal truths 
depend on God, they are arbitrary, and depend on his will. This is how 
seems to have taken it, and subsequently Mr Poiret. It is only true of 
contingent truths, which depend on the principle of harmony, or the choice of 
the best; whereas necessary truths depend solely on his understanding, of which 
they are the internal object.

In our notations there is indeed something arbitrary, but this is not 
namely that if we have determined anything arbitrarily, then something else 
be the case. (This results from the essence of the notation.)

Good luck,
John O
He had a wonderful life.


Other related posts: