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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Monadology (French: La Monadologie) is a 1714 short text written by famed German philosopher, mathematician, and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. It is originally written in French and consists of 90 paragraphs which showcase his personal philosophy on idealism, metaphysics, and the monad.

Monad comes from the Greek word ‘μονάς’ which means ‘unit’ or ‘singularity,’ and Leibniz defines it as an incorporeal, spiritual, and elementary matter or substance that represents the entire universe from a distinctive perspective. Monads are not necessarily connected to one another, but they still function in perfect harmony, carefully organized by God or a divine entity.

Throughout his text, Leibniz theorizes on several subjects which connect to the monad and explains various concepts, notions, and principles which are closely related to the metaphysical, philosophical, psychological, and theological fields of research.

Thus, he attempts to define the human soul, suggesting that it is a monad that can perceive and memorize information; he analyzes the human senses, which according to his theory are the main ‘tools’ that help us perceive said information; he analyzes the basic principles of reason, truth, knowledge, identity, continuity, and action and reaction; and he theorizes on the existence of God via a priori and a posteriori arguments, concluding that a divine being such as God exists, and it is a perfect, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient entity. In his argumentation on the existence of God, he also expresses his belief that our world is probably the best world in the entire universe, which signifies his optimism.

Essentially, Leibniz wrote a short text in which he attempts to answer the most important questions of human existence.

The text was very well received and gained generally positive reviews, although some analysts have mentioned that, if the readers are not familiar with Leibniz’s thought-provoking and contemporary philosophical views, they might find the text to be a bit confusing and difficult to understand.

You can find Leibniz's full text here.

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