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More On Monads

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Posted by Harvey on August 27, 2001 21:51:12 UTC

Hi Mark,

Of course, this is all quite speculative. But, here it goes:

A monad in my view can be a state, process, or conditional. The original monad was undefinable because there are no axioms or theorems, but all monads are based on that original monad. The 'later' monads of the physical world all contain it. For example, the natural laws are monads in that they are defined processes that are universal.

One theology built on the process view of monads was by Alfred North Whitehead. You can read an introduction to his theology (called process theology) as follows:


In Process and Reality, rather than assuming substances as the basic metaphysical category, Whitehead introduces the notion of an actual occasion. On Whitehead's view, an actual occasion is not an enduring substance, but a process of becoming. As Donald Sherburne points out, "It is customary to compare an actual occasion with a Leibnizian monad, with the caveat that whereas a monad is windowless, an actual occasion is 'all window'. It is as though one were to take Aristotle's system of categories and ask what would result if the category of substance were displaced from its preeminence by the category of relation ... ."2 As Whitehead himself explains, his "philosophy of organism is the inversion of Kant's philosophy ... For Kant, the world emerges from the subject; for the philosophy of organism, the subject emerges from the world."3

Whitehead's ultimate attempt to develop a metaphysical unification of space, time, matter and events has proved to be rather controversial. In part this may be because of the connections which Whitehead saw between his metaphysics and traditional theism. According to Whitehead, religion is concerned with permanence amid change, and can be found in the ordering we find within nature, something he sometimes called the "primordial nature of God". Thus although not especially influential among contemporary Anglo-American secular philosophers, his metaphysical ideas have had greater influence among many theologians and philosophers of religion.

- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Warm regards, Harv

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