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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s notion of monadic perception as a key component of his metaphysics. It first considers Leibniz’s thesis about monads, together with their perceptions and appetites, and his definition of perception as the representation of external variation in the internal. It then examines Leibniz’s belief that the world is a community of all compatible substances or monads, and that compatibility is the real principle underlying existence and the composition of possible worlds. The content of a monad’s perception is the momentary state of the whole world or, more precisely, the state of all the monads that are compatible with that monad. In every possible world these sequences are fully determinate. The chapter also analyzes Leibniz’s assertion that all monads are accompanied by a “manière de corps organique”.

Keywords: Leibniz, perception, metaphysics, monads, appetites, external variation, manière de corps organique, compatibility, existence, possible worlds

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