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PHL210Y1 Lecture Notes - Ethics

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Jim John

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PHL210Y1 Lecture (July 13th, 2011)
Perception is always a multitude. Perception is just the internal state. There is a
distinction between confused perception and distinct perception.
Leibniz uses the distinction between confused and distinct perceptions to tackle the issue
of one’s lack of awareness of what is happening around them.
Whatever change in a monad has to come from inside following from the “internal
In order to understand change in a monad, one has to understand how perception
changes. Perceptions are infinitely complex. Leibniz thinks a monad has this desire to be
in a certain state. All monads are finite and hence they cannot always get what they want.
But it can get part of it. A monad may want an entirely new state but in reality, some of it
just changes and the rest stays the same.
Aggregates are things that do not have unity.
The law of continuity talks about how change takes place. Change always happens in
degrees. One has to pass through all the intermediate stages.
For Leibniz, every monad has a body. There are no such things as disembodied monads.
Leibniz thinks one can’t find unity if one sticks to matter alone. Form has to come into
play and join with matter to give a better chance to find unity. The central monad is also
known as the dominant monad. It is in control of the other monads.
Historical background: Born in Edinburgh in 1711, later moved to France.
His first work is the Treatise of Human Nature; it is in three volumes. He also wrote
something called the History of England. It had six volumes. In the 1750s, he wrote
something called the dialogues concerning natural religion.
He mentions Moral philosophy; can be treated in two different manners.
What does he mean by Moral philosophy?
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