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Leibniz - The Monadology - 03

Identifier

020585

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

THE MONADOLOGY - by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz  - translated by Robert Latta

25. We see also that nature has given heightened perceptions to animals, from the care she has taken to provide them with organs, which collect numerous rays of light, or numerous undulations of the air, in order, by uniting them, to make them have greater effect. Something similar to this takes place in smell, in taste and in touch, and perhaps in a number of other senses, which are unknown to us. And I will explain presently how that which takes place in the soul represents what happens in the bodily organs.

26. Memory provides the soul with a kind of consecutiveness, which resembles [imite] reason, but which is to be distinguished from it. Thus we see that when animals have a perception of something which strikes them and of which they have formerly had a similar perception, they are led, by means of representation in their memory, to expect what was combined with the thing in this previous perception, and they come to have feelings similar to those they had on the former occasion. For instance, when a stick is shown to dogs, they remember the pain it has caused them, and howl and run away. (Theod. Discours de la Conformite, &c., ss. 65.)

27. And the strength of the mental image which impresses and moves them comes either from the magnitude or the number of the preceding perceptions. For often a strong impression produces all at once the same effect as a long-formed habit, or as many and oft-repeated ordinary perceptions.

The source of the experience

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von

Concepts, symbols and science items

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References