Born in July 1646, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was German mathematician and philosopher. Since he was young, Leibniz absorbed philosophical and theological influences from his father, a Professor of Moral Philosophy. Welcome to explore the works of his father’s library at the age of seven, he became well-versed in the written philosophy of his time and soon became proficient in the language of Latin. At the age of 15, he had his bachelor’s degree, and a year later, he had his master’s. From the University of Altdorf, Leibniz earned his license to practice law and his Doctorate in Law. A academically successful and likable man, he was soon able to apprentice under a chief minster as well as receive patronage from two nobleman. During this time, he worked with mathematicians Christiaan Huygens and Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, and began to develop his mathematical discoveries that he would continue to write about throughout his life. Throughout his life, Leibniz was a firm believer of God.
Leibniz’s collection of philosophical writing consisted of various short pieces including journals, manuscripts and letters in correspondence. Though somewhat fragmented, he explored seven fundamental philosophical Principles in his writing. His most interesting philosophical idea, however, was the monad, which he wrote about in the Monadologie. Leibniz’s Monad is a elementary particle that is eternal, in-decomposable, individual, subject to their own laws, and un-interacting. Most importantly, monads function on a pre-established harmony, following a pre-programmed set of instructions. They are made of no material or spatial character. They also differ from atoms by their complete mutual independence from each other. Each human being constitutes a monad. God, too, is a monad, and the existence of God can be inferred from the harmony prevailing among all other monads.
Leibniz’s theory of monads is not widely believed today – if it all, though there are some similarities to what we know now. The monad can be looked at as a kind of fate, or similar to a godly power. Scientifically, the pre-programmed “instructions” of a monad can be seen as analogs of the scientific laws governing subatomic particles.
To me, it seems hard to believe such a thing exists, with all it’s untied ends and blatantly simple answers. It seems to be another thing of blind belief, based more on faith than reason. However, this particle opens up very much to the possibility of the unknown. This monad questions not only our free will, but the reason of our existence, and the meaning of it. Whether or not our existence is actually controlled by these little particles, monads provide a little change to what we believe today.