Why does Leibniz reject empiricism? Even do that Leibniz was not only a mathematician, physicist, a public figure and a philosopher, he is mostly known as the founder and developer of Different and Integration Calculus on the hand with Isaac Newton.But his achievements and merits in other sciences and basically in philosophy are of the same importance as in mathematics.He was a bright representative of rationalism: a philosophical outlook that stated that the only objective sources of knowledge are human's reason and intelligible thinking of a man.Leibniz supported the ideas of positive idealism and it's well reflected in his teaching about monads. His teaching about monads is well described and answers the questions of time organization of microspace, which is considered to be human's inner world, and time organization of external world, the Universe and space.
The conception of monads has been used before Leibniz in the works of other philosophers both of modern time and ancient Greece. But in Leibniz's philosophy are the fundamental concepts of his system of outlook. Monads are characterized by Leibniz as bodyless, "true atoms of nature", and "elements of objects".
He attributes both positive and negative properties to monads. Negative properties are: indivisableness, immaterailmess, undestraction, uniqueness; positive properties are determined by: self development, activity characterized by perception and aspiration. Monads are also divided by the level of development into: primitive, monads-souls and monads spirits. The teaching about unconscious perceptions, "small perceptions" is used by Leibniz to explain the continuity of mental activity and the whole system of process taking place in our world.
Because of this correlation any monad from Leibniz point of view is a "constant living mirror of the Universe", has its own ability of perception and notion. In his work "Discourse on Metaphysics" Leibniz states that every substance is like the whole world and is reflection of God or the whole Universe, but expressed in different ways in the depending upon its location. Leibniz calls a monad "living mirror" and states that if people had a very penetrative mind they could see everything that took place in the universe, everything that will take place and the whole history of the Universe.The most highly developed and complex monads were called spirits by Leibniz.
The ability to cognize the concepts of the universe make these kinds of monads spirits. In difference to other living beings only a human has a potentially reasonable soul and ability to cognize world by reason, not just by feelings as its spread among other living beings in nature. But in order to realize this highest opportunity for him to become reasonable, a person has to achieve the definite clearance of his concepts, and basically understand their reasons.
The spiritual life is based only in the process of cognition of eternal truths, making it more clear, in the laws that in the basis of the Universe created by God, that's the main difference of spiritual life from simple mental activity of animals.According to Leibniz, the spirit is the source of all human in human body, because only spirit is able to self cognition, or to the understanding of the variety of things and truths that don't have material nature. It makes people able to sciences and logical knowledge. Thanks to reason, a man is not just an alive and personalized mirror of the universum, but also the image of God himself. Reasonable person even though is a God's creation, but has a creative ability to make great masterpieces of art and discover truths, that reflect the system of our world.
One of the main points in Leibniz doctrine was the explanation of nature of relations between monads and united with them proof of God's existence. Because monads are simple substances, none of them can not be considered to be the reason of changes of another one. The acceptation of any kind of reason of connection between simple lives, souls and spirits would destroy their substantiality.
The only way is left to save these relations its harmony or total coordination of changes taking place in monads. Even though that all monads are very different they anyway reflect the only object-the Universe. In this way Leibniz explains the unity of their matter, that provides coordination for all the changes in the Universe.Explaining the meaning of time conception, Leibniz uses the term "phenomenon". He explains that space and time are not realities that exist by their own, but that they are phenomena that come out form the existence of other realities. By Leibniz, space is considered to be an order of body locations, and space is that by the means of what those objects existing get their own location; in the same way time is also an order, relating to the same order of objects.
Leibniz also adds that if there were living beings, space and time would exist only in the ideas of God.To the Lock's argument and statement in favor of empiricism: "there is nothing in the intellect that doesn't refer to feeling", Leibniz added "but intellect only". In the questions of cognition he tried to overcome the deficiencies of both empiricism and rationalism.
But adopting the Lock's thesis about sensualism he agreed with the existence of innate abilities to reasoning, rejecting Decartes's statement about existence of innate ideas. By his idea this innate ideas were consisted in reasoning, as pieces of alien stone in a block of marble, which can be used by a sculptor to create a monument. Leibniz rejected Lock's concept of "tabula rasa" as well, stating that sensual experience and experiment can not be the universal source of knowledge, but he stated that this source is only reason, that the soul contains the initial concepts and "statutes" that can be stimulated and developed by external objects only.
Sensual cognition, by Leibniz, is the primitive and the lowest kind of cognition, as a kind of rational cognition premise, because feelings are not able to explain the importance and universal need of truth cognition. Only rational cognition has the abilities to give the explanation of need and importance of seeking for truth. The example that Leibniz gives with a block of marble, is a comparison to his description of cognition process. According to Locke our experiences and feelings give us idea about the nature of reality, but it's also often impossible to check our knowledge got from the experience with what reality definitely is.
By Leibniz it's impossible to check this experience.He explained his views on empiricism by these words: "For if some events can be foreseen before we have made any trial of them, it is manifest that we contribute to them something of our own. The senses, although they are necessary for all our actual acquiring of knowledge, are by no means sufficient to give us the whole of our knowledge, since the senses never give anything but instances, that is to say particular or individual truths.
Now all the instances which confirm a general truth, however numerous they may be, are not sufficient to establish the universal necessity of this same truth; for it does not at all follow that what has happened will happen in the same way.".Leibniz developed the teaching about two types of truth: true facts, and important truth. Truths of facts are such truths that are resulted in the process of sensual and empicitic cognition.
They deal only with counted and definite things, based on the experiment and that are not able to be proved by the means of logical conclusions, and that why they don't exclude the possibility of inverse truth existence. In this case only the connection of reasons takes place that unites one phenomenon with another. For such kind of trues exist the law of sufficient reason, by the means of what we make a conclusion about the existence of one fact from the existence of another one. Metaphysical or (eternal) truths are discovered just but the power of our mind and reasoning, their acceptation doesn't require the experiment's confirmation. Their truth is stated by the existence of concept, that doesn't contradict them.
Leibniz includes all the basic laws of mathematics and logic to the trues of reason. Looking on this problem as Leibniz did, from rational point of view we can see that experience is always just a set of different kinds of instances. So the knowledge we get from experience and experiment can be seen in the most cases as knowledge of particular instances. But as it's well known the universal truths don't follow from their instances, but exist by their own. Making a logical conclusion it's obvious that experiment and experience can not be able to justify universal truths.
His passion and success in mathematics and logic by his words prove that the surrounding world can be examined and explained through logic and reasoning objectively, as he stated:."Whence it seems that necessary truths, such as we find in pure mathematics and especially in arithmetic and geometry, must have principles whose proof does not depend upon instances nor, consequently, upon the witnesses of the senses, although without the senses it would never have come into our heads to think of them. . .
. Logic also, along with metaphysics and ethics, of which the one forms natural theology and the other natural jurisprudence, are full of such truths; and consequently their demonstration can come only from the inner principles which are called innate.".Leibniz had done al lot for the development of logic, which he considered to be the science about all existing worlds. He also gave an important role to the concept of probability.
His influence on the development of math logic, combinatorics, and math analysis is great. His ideal was the creation of universal language (calculation) that would have the ability to formalize all reasoning. Also Leibniz played an important role in the development of the concept of "necessity". He defined necessity, as something that is obligatory. The first necessity was metaphysical, absolute as well as logical and geometrical necessity. It was based on the laws of identity and contradictions, and that's why allows the unique possibility of event.
Leibniz opposed contingent matters of facts to necessity, considering the last one an objective connection between all the events that been taking place in the Universe. But as he argued the necessary truths are not the results or outcomes of the f contingent truths, so it's not possible to justify and explain necessary trues by the experiment and feelings.Leibniz ideas of predestination belief are expressed in his work "Discourse on metaphysics": "we maintain that everything that is to happen to some person is already contained virtually in his nature or notion, as properties of a circle are contained in its definition", show that by his words God playing the essential role in managing the destinies of the people. From this position Leibniz is supporting the ideas of metaphysics and predestination.
"If everything that has to happen " is already planned then the discoveries that a human makes in the result of his mental and psychological activities are the results of his realization of what has to happen to himself that lie in the bottom of his consciousness. Because the will of every person is foreseen, Leibniz shows that there is no way to a person to get objective understanding of the reality because "human freedom will no longer hold, and that an absolute fatality would rule over all our actions as well as over all the rest of what happens in the world." By Leibniz, human nature is full of qualities that are given as initial and they ca not be taught or learnt from the experience. These are feelings, basic instincts and abilities that are given with birth and basically are not expressed by a child, but once stimulated they appear to take place.
A person can not be taught happiness, or sorrow, what is virtue or evil. These concepts contain in person's mind, as well as fear to be punished for something wrong and belief in supper powers. A person doesn't have a lot of abilities to correctly and definitely answer the question about right and wrong things using his only five senses. Because of this contradictions in the way of experiencing basic concepts, Leibniz also questions empiricists' ethical theory. There is not that much sense in explanation of empiricist that moral and virtues can be cognized by emotions.Leibniz also argues the control concept that is common among empiricists.
By their concept humans are easily controlled and manipulated by someone more influential. But this concept is not that claer in this way: if people develop mentally only from their experiences, then they would be able to perform everything they were told or taught. But we know it's not always true, moreover it happens to the most part in rare cases. Leibniz and other rationalists characterized it by core, innate qualities given with the birth of a person, like a freedom of will, self cognition and ability to decide what is more appropriate and suitable for him in the particular case.
The conception of God or a supper power can not be experienced, or checked, so God's existence can not be proved empirically. These qualities give a lot of choices for a human to act in future, to make decisions and choose the ways of his own life. But basically we can see that the behavior of a person is already planned by giving him such qualities from the birth, and his future life depends just on his choices to develop those qualities given innate to him.
According to Leibniz the faith into God that a lot of people have, can no be expressed by senses, it's the feeling of supreme authority over one's heart.In general the rational philosophy was developed by those thinkers, who thought form inside the object, and basically all of them were natural scientists. Empiricism is basically supported by those, who thinking about science, cognition; think about it being out of the object of natural science.
That's why lumen naturale rationes, is obvious for rationalists, it's probably even can not be proved, and it can not be doubt: cogito, ergo sum, - a rationalist lives in this world and sensualists are not able to understand what their opponents are talking about. By the opinion of rationalists, empiricism has a basic weak point: it hardly thinks about the object, but is not able to start thinking by object, from inner side, not from the surface. Because of this empiricism is more likely to turn in to materialism through its sensualism.
Aaron is a professional freelance writer at custom essays writing service: Research papers & custom essays Now he is a technical writer, advertising copywriter, & website copywriter for Custom Essay Network.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Aaron_Schwartz.
By: Aaron Schwartz