The Doctrine Of Pre Established Harmony

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Causation was a very important topic of philosophical reflection during the 17th century. This reflection centered and focused around certain particular causation problems. Among those problems was the problem between the mind and the body. The doctrine of Pre-established Harmony, is Leibniz’s response to the problem of causation between mind and body. To begin with, Leibniz in his proposition rejected Descartes 3rd proposition about “mind and body casually interacting” as for him the mind does not act upon the body and the body does not act upon the mind. Leibniz feels that that no finite substance, created substance acts upon another. Therefore, he denies any causation among finite or created substances. He even claimed the following, “There is also no way of explaining how a monad can be altered or changed internally by some other creature (…) The monads have no windows through which something can enter or leave. Accidents cannot be detached, nor can they go about outside of substances, as the sensible species of the Scholastics once did. Thus, neither substance nor accident can enter a monad from without.” (Monadology §7). “Monad is Leibniz’s technical term for individual substances. In the following passage just quoted, Leibniz is rejecting intersubstancial causation between created or finite substances. For Leibniz, the world is created of infinitely many finite substances, which are completely and casually isolated from one another. These substances cannot act upon
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