Leibniz's Theory of Time

Publication Year:
Usage 1561
Downloads 1561
Social Media 7
Tweets 7
Repository URL:
Uchii, Soshichi
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
preprint description
I have developed an informational interpretation of Leibniz’s metaphysics and dynamics, but in this paper I will concentrate on his theory of time. According to my interpretation, each monad is an incorporeal automaton programed by God, and likewise each organized group of monads is a cellular automaton (in von Neumann’s sense) governed by a single dominant monad (entelechy). The activities of these produce phenomena, which must be “coded appearances” of these activities; God determines this coding. A crucially important point here is that we have to distinguish the phenomena for a monad from its states (perceptions). Both are a kind of representation: a state represents the whole world of monads, and phenomena for a monad “result” from the activities of monads. But the coding for each must be different; R(W) for the first, Ph(W) for the second, where W is a state of the monadic world. The reason for this is that no monadic state is in space and time, but phenomena occur in space and time. Now, the basis of the phenomenal time must be in the timeless realm of monads. This basis is the order of state-transition of each monads. All the changes of these states are given at once by God, and these do not presuppose time. The coded appearances (which may well be different for different creatures) of this order occur in time (for any finite creatures), and its metric must depend on God’s coding for phenomena. For humans, in particular, this metric time is derived from spatial distance (metric space) via the laws of dynamics. Thus there may well be an interrelation between spatial and temporal metric. This means that the Leibnizian frame allows relativistic metric of space-time. I will show this after outlining Leibniz’s scenario.