Leibniz’s Discourse on Metaphysics: VI – X

28 Jun

Happy Monday!

In the Discourse’s propositions VI through X, Leibniz continues discussions about God and goes into discussions about the substantial universe. He connects God to substance, along with talking about how substance is involved with actions and beings in the world.


In the sixth proposition of the discourse, Leibniz talks about the regularity of events and the things God does. He bases all events off of God, along with stating that n o irregularity from God is possible (all events are from God so no irregularity is possible. He says it is not possible to conceive something that is not orderly. What I understand from Leibniz’s proposition is that anything that happens is always coherent to regularity. Whether it is conceived to humans as regular or irregular, it is regular because of how God did it. God is perfect and cannot have done any events that are irregular. God is too perfect for a being made in His image to be able to conceive of an event occurring not within regularity. What we may think to be irregular, is still regular. I also agree, because God does everything for a reason. Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks on September 11 happened for a reason. These reasons are not possible for us to understand, but that does not matter to the sixth proposition. The point is is that whatever we conceive in an event, it is regular because of how God executed it.


In the seventh proposition Leibniz states that miracles are too regular. He says that miracles are however not regular in subordinate regulations. Subordinate regulations are defined by Leibniz as regulations that are lower in significance. Miracles are all still regular in the regulations God always inputs. In subordinate regulations, miracles are unexpected and catch people off guard. These subordinate regulations are those that beings in the creatum hold true because of how we cannot understand God’s regularities. A miracle is defined miracle because it is unexpected and thought not possible. In subordinate regulations, nothing should really be taken for entire truth. The only truth there is, is in God’s pure regulations. Miracles are regular in God’s regularities (the ones that matter) and miracles are irregular in the subordinate regularities (to me they do not matter).

I agree with Leibniz because still, everything is regular under God. I believe, however, that understanding of the subordinate regularities is not necessary. These subordinate regulations are only speculations and guesses that do not even matter. To me, they cannot even be regularities because the people who establish them (are people) and do not know if a periodic event is regular or not. To me, the only regularities are established by God. All other possible subordinate ‘regularities’ are not regularities at all.


In the eighth proposition in the Discourse on Metaphysics, Leibniz explains that the activities of God and created beings are only distinguished between each other when the worldly individual substance is understood. He brings this up because people argue about whether all actions are directly from God versus  all activities are being from the created beings, but enforced by potentiality of God. Understanding the individual substance is necessary for this argument because the God and the created beings are both in the same substance.

My opinion on this is a bit different from Leibniz’s eighth argument. I think that all actions are directly from God regardless of how they appear. I think that because the substance that makes up and exists in the universe and in humans is all made from and of and by god, there is no difference between actions by the created and actions directly by God. Regardless of how the action occurred, it happened because of God. Leibniz states that in order to distinguish between actions by God and actions by the created, we have to know what the substance is. Now that I am aware of the substance, I hopefully well understand that distinguishing actions by God from actions by the created is not necessary by any means: 1) because they all are under the will of God, 2) they all play a part in the reason God does anything. Therefore, this argument is not necessary to further prove because actions by God and actions by the created are equal in all forms.


Leibniz states in the 9th proposition, first, that the individual substances express the world and the universe in its own way. Second, he states that the substance includes all its experiences, circumstances and sequences of exterior events.

First, I disagree with Leibniz’s first part of the 9th proposition, because by saying this, he concludes that more than one substance exists. And according to Spinoza and therefore to me, only one substance exists. Also, God is the substance. God does not express the world as substance; God is the world as substance. Second, I disagree with his second part of the 9th proposition because God, the only substance, does not need experiences to be and even express the world (if it did). God and substance is a priori, and the attributum and modus that succeeds substance has also a priori knowledge of God as substance. None of the experience, circumstances, or sequences are necessary because of God/substance’s a priori knowledge.


The 10th proposition in Leibniz’s Discourse talks about how substance and its forms have basis in fact, but we should not rely on substance and its forms to explain the phenomenon and experiences.

First, I condone fully the existence of one substance (God) in Spinoza’s definition of it. There is a lot of foundation and basis in fact in substance. Because of this, substance has forms inside it and below it in a hierarchical style. Leibniz says that these substantial forms have no effect on the change or actions of the things that happen. This I disagree with. Substance and all its lower forms describes the universe as a whole. Changes that occur can be expressed in terms of what happened between substance, attribute, and mode. Any thing that happens in the universe can also be explained in terms of substance, attribute and mode.

For example,  on September 11, many people died because of terrorism. People being modes, each person when dying, changes into a different kind of representation of the substance. A person that was Christian that died in 9/11 goes from being a high hierarchy mode to being a high hierarchy attribute ( modes are inferior forms representing the substance, while attributes show the essence of the substance). By this I mean that the Christian person dying goes from being a Christian person to becoming an angel in heaven. While, the terrorist that kills himself in the attempt at killing others goes from a low hierarchy mode to being a low hierarchy attribute. By this I mean that the Islamic terrorist goes from being a useless to God/the world mode, to being in hell with Satan in a low hierarchy attribute (hell and Satan are attributes because they too represent God, because God created them for a reason).

In propositions 6 through 10, there were actually some arguments I disagreed with that I had to oppose.

Thanks for your support. See you tomorrow.


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