So each person is a monad, and there is no causation between monads. Perception occurs as a result of aggregation of monads. The aggregation between them gives the perception. My question is, if each monad is "a window to universe", a perspective, each monad is an indivisible immaterial substance which contains all the predicates of it, then how can we say the people share the same perception? Why do I an my friend perceive that this is a chair and do not perceive it differently?

Help would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Because of the pre-established harmony:"every "substance" affects only itself, but all the substances (both bodies and minds) in the world nevertheless seem to causally interact with each other because they have been programmed by God in advance to "harmonize" with each other."
    – Conifold
    Oct 30, 2016 at 20:59
  • Back off and think of whether you and your friend perceive the chair differently. You do, right? You necessarily see it from a different set of perspectives, which each of you aggregates into a representation. If the chair is particularly artsy, say taking the form of a hanging hemisphere, you might not agree whether it is actually intended to be a chair or a sculpture. You can be sure to perceive it as the same thing only after you interact and establish agreement. The harmony that allows shared interpretations only exists by projecting yourself into one another's perspectives.
    – user9166
    Oct 31, 2016 at 21:07
  • Its not a person, per se that is a monad, but a soul. Nov 8, 2016 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


Leibniz's theory of monads is complex and quite obscure :

Leibniz's [...] celebrated theory of monads, in which the only beings that will count as genuine substances and hence be considered real are mind-like simple substances endowed with perception and appetite.

Thus, monads perceive.

See also Leibniz's letter to De Volder:

“considering the matter carefully, we must say that there is nothing in things but simple substances, and in them, perception and appetition. Moreover, matter and motion are not substances or things as much as they are the phenomena of perceivers, the reality of which is situated in the harmony of the perceivers with themselves (at different times) and with other perceivers.”

The "harmony" is provided by God, which is an essential "feature" of Leibniz's metaphysics.


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