Leibniz’s Discourse on Metaphysics XXVI – XXIX

14 Jul

In Leibniz’s Discourse, between X and XXV, I see little I am dying to argue. I may really want to argue them later, but for now they spark little interest. XX sparks interest, but it rests upon Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus, which I have not read, and must read to fully comprehend Leibniz’s point. XXVI through XXX are interesting to me, and are all things I want to argue about. Also, the schedule for posts has again changed. Now posts will be new at 6pm Central time and/or 12am central time. Sometimes I have 2 to publish, and sometimes I have none, so it varies.


‘Ideas are all stored up within us.’

This is Plato’s doctrine of reminiscence that Leibniz  endorses and explains in the discourse. The way ‘ideas’ is used is done so that it can be differentiated from knowledge. In dialectic, knowledge is experienced and had before any ideas are created. Ideas are our invented and thought up opinions and justifications for things that exist. For example, certain ideas for philosophies or inventive things do not come out until the person has had enough knowledge and experience to think well enough and eventually produce the idea. The idea is however, stored within the person at its infant stages. The idea is still there, but it needs key supplemental material from the knowledge needed for the idea to actually matter. For a real applicative example, Alexander Graham Bell wanted to create something that allows us to talk to each other by voice while both people are very far apart. He had this idea, and knew about the telegraph and other advances. He did not know how to use his idea to invent the telephone until he had supplemental knowledge and understanding about electronics until later, then he invented the telephone. The idea was in him the whole time, but he just needed more knowledge to do something with it.Some ideas are in fact innate, some are not and are a posteriori, but all become stored within us by the time our brain develops enough for us to talk. Most of this paragraph was my opinion, not Leibniz’s and not Plato’s.


In this part of the discourse, Leibniz compares to Aristotle in how he compared souls to blank tablets. Also, he states how conceptions are derived from the senses.

The part of this propositions about how souls are like blank tablets sends me into deep thought and argument with myself. In argumentation and debate, a student is told to try to forget some knowledge and opinions for the purpose fo the debate at hand (tableau rase).  A soul when first entering the world is a tableau rase (spelling it right?) in all aspects of opinion because the soul has not been acculturated and educated enough to have a stance on things in the world. But in some aspects of knowledge, the soul is not a tableau rase because of a priori knowledge (or innate ideas). I endorse the idea that we have a priori knowledge. We have some knowledge before we experience things on this earth. The soul for the most part is a blank tablet because most important knowledge comes with experience and education.

Second, conceptions do come from the senses. Conceptions and perceptions come from the senses allowing us to have opinions from experience. Without senses no conception or perception would be had, and no progress would occur, and only a priori knowledge would exist in our brains. Without senses, no a posteriori knowledge would be possible.


“The only immediate object of our perceptions which is outside of us is God, and in him alone is our light.”

And some say that God cannot be seen in perceptions. I totally agree with XXVIII. God is always immediately outside of us yet the light of our perceptions. I believe that God changes our perceptions for the better so that we can accept things and understand things for the way they should be understood. God uses our perceptions and his light to be the best thing in our world. God uses His light to direct us in the righteous way in our actions. Whether or not we recognize the things that are there to tell us the best thing to do with His light, we sometimes may or may not obey them. The main point of this is that whether we see it or not God’s light and direction is within our perceptions in one way or another. This may be my favorite proposition in the Discourse.


“Yet we think directly by means of our own ideas and not through God’s”

In this proposition is the key to the meaning of life. We are put on this earth because we are being ‘tested’ by God because he wants to see who finds the His light and becomes saved in Him. Whoever finds His light and becomes saved, goes to heaven with Him for eternity. God knows what each of us will end up doing as to whether or not each person will find His light or not, but we all think directly with our own ideas because we all yet have free choice to make our own choices as to what we do, think and believe. We think by our own means because God wants to see who finds Him amids the darkness. If we thought by means directly through God, there would be no purpose for our existence on earth. I totally agree with this proposition. I would have loved to meet Leibniz because he knew the meaning of life way way before all these people who relentlessly ask on a daily basis in today’s times.

Thanks for the support. I hopefully will begin posting regularly like last month.


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