"Perhaps, for some philosophic reasons, a man may decided that the Leibnizian monads (those disembodied forces which make all things happen) are illusory; but there is no scientific argument to prove it."
~~The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God, by Gordon H. Clark
Leibnitz's view of things is that the world consists of monads which are
immaterial centres of force, each possessing a certain grade of mentality,
self-contained and representing the whole universe in miniature, and all combined together by a pre-established harmony. Material things, according to Leibnitz, are in their ultimate nature composed of monads, each soul is a monad, and God is the
monas monadum. Thus monadism, or monadology, is a kind of spiritual
~~Encylopedia Brittanica Online
Monads are the ultimate elements of the universe. The monads are "substantial forms of being" with the following properties: they are eternal, indecomposable,
individual, subject to their own laws, un-interacting, and each reflecting the
entire universe in a pre-established harmony ... Monads are centers of force; substance is force, while space, matter, and motion are merely phenomenal.
The ontological essence of a monad is its irreducible simplicity. Unlike atoms, monads possess no material or spatial character. They also differ from atoms by their complete mutual independence, so that interactions among monads are only apparent. Instead, by virtue of the principle of pre-established harmony, each monad follows a preprogrammed set of "instructions" peculiar to itself, so that a monad "knows" what to do at each moment. .... By virtue of these intrinsic instructions, each monad is like a little mirror of the universe. Monads need not be "small"; e.g., each human being constitutes a monad, in which case free will is problematic.
First, I was innocently reading along in Clark's book, not thinking along the lines that my mind immediately set into action up reading this: "those disembodied forces which make all things happen".
Eh? Say that again?
For those of my family reading this, you probably already know what thought process that triggered. That's right; ever since I watched Star Wars for school and wrote 'The Star Wars Menace', whenever I randomly bump into something that sounds sort of like George Lucas' philosophy, my ears perk up.
From this little tiny bit that I read, it does sound to me rather like Lucas might have incorporated Leibniz's monads into his, what'd I call it, "pantheistic philosophy of this fable", in the form of the midicholrians.
Without digging any deeper (which would take longer than I want to spend on a rabbit trail), I would suggest that Lucas' "force" is somewhat more fantastical than Leibniz's monad idea; but at the same time has many of the same features. As an example of which, "they are eternal, indecomposable, individual, subject to their own laws, un-interacting".
First, eternal; for both Lucas and Leibniz, the 'midicholorians' or 'monads' are in essense the building blocks of life.
Indecomposable; Lucas' midicholorians were what everything else dissolved into when it died (the 'life force' or better yet the 'life of the force').
Individual; notice the the 's' on the end of both words making them plural. To have plurality, there must be individuals...
Subject to their own laws; um, sound 'god-like', anyone? Lucas' midicholorians are the 'god-particle' in his philosophical scheme of things--whether or not he would admit it in those words. Leibniz says God is the monas monadum. In Latin that means (roughly) the 'ultimate monad'. I don't know if that means He is over all the rest of the monads (he also said individual humans were monads), or He is just greater than all the rest.
Un-interacting; I'll admit that I'm not really sure as to what Leibniz meant by this, but it kind of sounds like they don't necassarily act on their own. Then, in Star Wars, remember, someone manipulated the midicholorians in order for Shmi to conceive Anakin.
I may be totally off my rocker here, but I think that Lucas (who I honestly think is a well educated man), adopted and conformed to his own liking, this monad idea of Leibniz. It wouldn't be the only thing he b0rrowed from someplace else and adjusted to his own presuppositional ideas.
Anyway, I know this is kind of foggy and not the best thought out, but I thought I'd share it anyway. It's almost funny how one sentence can send me off on a rabbit trail--one that has consequences. I'm at war with Star Wars, even if I'm not overly public about it.