While I will go ahead and post this, I see there is a near duplicate. I know that bits and pieces of Leibniz, such as relativized space, are picked up by today's philosophers, but I am especially interested in the monadology.

It is certainly, at least to me, a complex and peculiar theory, yet intriguing. I cannot say I grasp it. It is sometimes likened to Indra's Net. Apart from this image, are there comparable or similar theories proposed by other, subsequent philosophers? Is there something comparable in Whitehead, say, or other systems philosophers?

The purpose of my question is actually to get a clearer interpretation of Leibniz by shedding some of the remote, 17th-century rationalism. Is Deleuze helpful in this regard or too idiosyncratic?


2 Answers 2


A contemporary model for the Monadalogy is a collection of 'brain-in-vat's. The Great Artificer feeds them coordinated data which offers grounds to believe that there is an external world. Leibniz hints in his Discours de Metaphysique that each soul/brain-in-vat and the Artificer are sufficent and everything else is actually an illusion. The preestablished harmony is a kind of software that causes, e.g., V1 to believe that he is kicking V2 while V2 is made to feel pain, but there is no real interaction.

Deleuze is much too idiosyncrasic and should be read in the original French.


I consider myself a modern Leibnizian. Also recall that Leibniz used the term perennis philosophia to imply that many of histories philosophies and religions kind of deep down say the same thing.

Which is why I think Leibniz's monads are similar to Plato's Forms and Kant's noumena.

I write about some of that in these pages.

I also write about the parallels to Everett's ideas about quantum mechanics and monads.

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