Leibniz came up with the theory of pre-established harmony, which is a philosophical theory
that deals with causation. The theory argues that a substance will only affect itself, but the
substances that are found in the world interact with others because God has programmed
them to harmonize with each other. Leibniz referred to the substances as "monads." The
theory is taken as a solution to the mind-body problems, which explains how the body
connects with the mind to deal with some issues and to support the lives of the people. He
rejected the claim that two physical bodies can affect each other and used this example in the
explanation of physical causation. Each mind has to be complex under the pre-established
harmony since it is responsible for causing its thoughts or actions. Leibniz used the term
Monad to mean something that exists in a single unit; hence, it cannot be divided. He came
up with the theory of the monads to ensure that it is superior to the theory of the atom that
was superior at that time. On the question of how the monads are related, God organizes and
synchronizes all the monads through the insertion of the facts about the universe. However,
each of the monads has a different view of the universe, and they can interact with each other
externally. Leibniz noted that various monads would be grouped together to form a substance
and that each monad had its individual identity that was different from each other. He
believes that there are monads because he believes that the big things that he is able to
interact with have smaller components that act as the basic components of the bigger
components. He has a good argument because of the fact that the bigger things must have
smaller components that make them. For instance someone can break a rock into very small
pieces and the smaller pieces can also be broken down into very minute particles. It is
therefore possible that the pieces can be broken down to the smaller components that can no
longer be broken down further meaning that he has a good argument. Leibniz resists
Spinoza’s ontological demotion successfully because he gives a more plausible view of how
he views the world and how each being is represented in the world. Spinoza, on the other
hand, fails to make the distinction (Nadler, 2010).
According to Spinoza's ontological demotion, human beings were demoted from the status of
being substances to the status of the modification of a substance. It is a complex concept to
understand; hence, it is important to understand the Aristotelian view of substance as a way
of understanding the concept. The Aristotelian view proposes that the bodies that are found in
the world are made of matter and form. The matter is explained to be a combination of four
elements that include earth, water, air, and fire. The form, on the other hand, is the animation
that keeps the components together. In the non-living things, the animating principle is
known as form, and in the living organisms, it is a soul. The souls are, therefore, in charge of
the capacities of life and reproduction and growth. The souls also make it possible for
organizations to have free will, volition, rationality, etc. Under this view, the bodies are
fundamental, and people can understand the world by understanding the nature of the bodies.
The elements will, therefore, lose cohesion in the absence of the soul or form. For instance,
when the trees and humans die, they become substances because they have lost the soul. The
account proposed by Spinoza gives another view of the physics of existence. According to his
Plenum physics, the physical universe is uniform, full, and extended. The laws of motion and
rest are the geometric structures that are used in the description of the movement of the
elements that take place within the plenum. Everything that is found in the world can,
therefore, be traced back to basic motions and has an existence that is related to the plenum.
The body of the human beings therefore rests within the plenum; hence, it is very special
when it is compared with the rest of the patterns. There is therefore one substance, a God and
other substances that are found in the world may be described as a modification of this
substance (Mack, 2012). According to Spinoza, the extension is only one facet of an attribute
that the people are supposed to have, and that is the presence of God. The attributes are,
therefore, a representation of the essence of God.
Why does it think the demotion is needed? Is he right? Explain why the demotion
matters to the overall project of the Ethics
Various laws of motion have come up especially the ones that were brought forward by New
physics, Newton as well as the other concepts that come from the scientific revolution and the
theories that were brought forward by Newton. The issue of the motion and form is one of the
major breaks of Aristotelianism. The motion is, therefore, key and demotion matters. To
understand how it matters to ethics, it is important to know what we are supposed to do. It is
therefore important for one to understand which creature he or she is and what he or she
ought to do (Mack, 2012).
Prediction is what makes Hume think that causation is essential. Causation makes it possible
for us to talks about something that will happen in the future that is beyond what we can see
or sense. It is only through causation that we can see things that are beyond our senses.
Through causation, we are also able to know the things that we do not sense. For instance, if
A and B have a causal relationship, then we will always anticipate B to occur every time we
experience B without depending on our senses. According to Hume, the knowledge that the
people have is dependent on the knowledge that they have about the cause and effects
Why does he find the relationship puzzling?
Hume comes up with two subdivisions about knowledge, namely the matters of fact and
relations of ideas. The relations of ideas are the statements that one comes with as a way of
denying a state of affairs or a phenomenon, and most of the time, it leads to a contradiction.
A matter of fact, on the other hand, is a knowledge that is gained by the people through the
experiences that they face in their lives (Beebee, 2006).
In the case of causation A is related to B, and every time we experience A, then there is a
great likelihood that B is on its way. The puzzling fact is that B following A cannot be
explained by using rationality only because knowledge is a product of the experiences that
the people face in their lives. It is not a matter of fact either because there are times when A
happens then is followed by C as opposed to being followed by B (Beebee, 2006).
Why does he think that reason is not responsible for human thinking involving
According to Hume, human beings cannot be responsible for the idea of or think about
causation because they are not able to rationalize that one cause, referred to as X can lead to
an event Y. Hence they can only expect it to happen based on the experience. The fact that
we can imagine that an event occurs without being followed by another event meaning that
the idea of the cause and effects is not true (Beebee, 2006).
What happens, according to Hume, when we make a causal inference? Explain his
account of the idea of the necessity associated with the idea of cause and effect.
The observation of constant conjunction, which is a form or a habit that it will occur again is
a habit. People will expect that something will happen again and again when the other that is
related to it occurs. Hume thinks that when people make the causal inferences, they are doing
it out of habit or custom as opposed to the matter of fact (Beebee, 2006).
Explain Berkeley’s argument for the claim that sensible qualities do not exist
independently of the mind (focus on secondary qualities).
Berkeley notes that all that a human being can perceive are sensations meaning that the mind
has to be involved. It therefore means that the things that are seen cannot exist independent of
the mind meaning that the latter plays a very important role in perceiving what is available in
the world. The secondary qualities are the features that produce sensations in the observers and
they include color, sound, taste and smell. Berkeley notes that the bodies themselves do not have
sensible qualities because the latter can only exist in mind. That means that one cannot say
that the body exists when the mind cannot experience it due to the fact that it is made up of
perceptions. Berkeley tries this by offering two arguments the mind-dependence argument as
well as the Perceptual Relativity argument. First of all, on page 11 of his work, he notes the
fact that the sensible things are the ones that are immediately perceived by sense. It,
therefore, means that the sense of human beings will only associate with the phenomenon that
is associated with a particular sense. Berkeley brings up the issue of mind-dependence on
pain and pleasure argument. He notes that there is no further thing that can cause pleasure or
pain and that a material thing is senseless. He also notes the fact that a tangible thing cannot
be the subject of pain. Some things, such as intense heat can be associated with pain. He also
notes the fact that there cannot be intense heat if there is not mind to perceive it (Berkeley,
What precisely is Berkeley arguing for here? How does the argument work?
Berkeley is arguing that the only way the sensible quality can exist is when they are
perceived because they are not really tangible hence the body has to associate with them
through sensations. Among the human beings who do not have sense then the things that they
are not perceived are not available for instance it is harder to convince a blind person that
there are several colours when he or she has never experienced it.
The three important things that are discussed in the Three Dialogues include
the perceptual relativity, the conceivability/master argument as well as the theory of
phenomenalism that was brought forward by Berkeley. Philonous (Berkeley) destroys Hyla’s
view on matter saying that it was impossible to imagine matter without the sensible qualities.
How does this particular claim fit into the overall case for immaterialism? In particular,
what else does Berkeley need to do in order to make his case for immaterialism? In your
view, how successful is the overall case that Philonous makes for immaterialism in the
Immaterialism is the claim that the material things are mind independent and his claims seem
to fit into the overall case for immaterialism. All he had to do is to provide more evidence of
the claims that he was making and that could enable him come up with a strong case to argue.
In my opinion the overall case that Philonous makes for immaterialism in the first dialogue
was not successful because the fact that a person cannot perceive something does not mean
that it ceases to exist.
Beebee, H. (2006). Hume on causation. Routledge.
Berkeley, G. (2016). Three dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. In Seven Masterpieces of
Philosophy (pp. 117-190). Routledge.
Mack, M. (2012). Spinoza’s non-humanist humanism’. Spinoza beyond philosophy, 28-47.
Nadler, S. (Ed.). (2010). Causation in early modern philosophy: Cartesianism,
occasionalism, and preestablished harmony. Penn State Press.